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Poll: Are you for or against the proposed Morrisons Local?
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Planning Application: M&Co to become a Morrisons Local?
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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #41
15-07-2014 05:27 PM

Disingenuous or pragmatic? Reading the posts here, I think people have been pretty honest that this is a tactic and that they have a variety of other reasons for objecting.

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rbmartin


Posts: 795
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #42
15-07-2014 06:07 PM

Quote:
that's not an admission that the objections are disingenuous at best, dishonest at the mid-case, and vexatious at the outside, I don't know what is.


If you can't prove those allegations, I'd be very careful as that is potentially libelous.

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Glasshalffull


Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2011
Post: #43
15-07-2014 06:52 PM

If you know a libel lawyer who could make that stick please post their details, they would make us all very wealthy. People are being asked to sign a petition that specifically specifies the selling of alcohol as the reason to object to Morrisons opening, they are then being encouraged to sign it if they object to Morrisons opening for 'whatever reason'

If Morrisons were to withdraw their alcohol licence application (unlikely I know) would those who set up or have signed the petition withdraw their objections?

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stefan74uk
Unregistered


Post: #44
15-07-2014 07:27 PM

Quote:
If Morrisons were to withdraw their alcohol licence application (unlikely I know) would those who set up or have signed the petition withdraw their objections?


I'll be honest - as I hope we've been from the outset - and say no, we'd then move on to one or more of our other areas of concern and we'd look for a way to lobby the council around those. The generous alcohol license being applied for is but one of the reasons for our opposition - it just happens to be the one area where the council has formally invited feedback from the Forest Hill community at this stage - hence the current campaign.

Michael makes a fair point, asking whether there are indeed sufficient grounds for the council to consider our objections from a technical licensing perspective, and I'll concede that he has a lot more experience in this field than I do so I won't labour this point, other than saying we've decided to take a shot at it to see what happens.

Overall, even though there seems to be different people coming at this from different angles, it seems that there is a general view that this requires a healthy debate, using both formal and informal channels and I definitely welcome that.

Regarding being snobbish about gentrification - I can't speak for other people but I can say from my perspective that it's the exact opposite. We have a couple of genuine, local retailers on London Rd & elsewhere competing in this space that could hardly be described as "upmarket", but I feel much happier seeing them continue to trade rather than our high street being ever more dominated by generic chains.

And finally - I'll reiterate that it is of course up to each and every individual to decide whether they want to sign the petition, and ultimately up to the council to consider whether it has any merit.

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Perryman


Posts: 809
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #45
15-07-2014 07:52 PM

Quote:
Servicing really is a big issue for these local/metro supermarkets. I really don't see how this would work. TfL surely won't allow loading on London Road and Havelock Walk is totally unsuitable.


Agree - this is my main issue.
I could not care less if trucks parked diagonally across the south circ to deliver their goods, but lorries regularly reversing in and out of Havelock walk, or regularly parking in and around the bus stops is an additional hazard for pedestrians. Surely this is a planning issue?

I'm not against a metro store in FH - I think it will be very popular - but can one of the posters in favour of the store being located here explain how the shop will be safely serviced?
And please no-one compare it to M&Co which might have had just one delivery a week, or the Sainsbury's that used to be based along here in the olden days when it only sold tea and cheese.

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Glasshalffull


Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2011
Post: #46
15-07-2014 08:23 PM

'but can one of the posters in favour of the store being located here explain how the shop will be safely serviced?'

The same way the Sainsbury locals in Honor oak and Dulwich are serviced. Delivery vehicles parking in unloading bays, in this case the bays outside the fried chicken shop and goods being trollied into the store. Deliveries could be made early morning or late evening.

Metro stores carry a smaller selection of products so obviously require smaller deliveries and smaller delivery vehicles.

Stefan you have been frank in your posts, and I admire people that fight battles using whatever weapons are at their disposal. As with any campaign of this nature you can't choose your supporters and although they may want the same outcome it is not always for the same reasons.

Just to say I have no strong feeling either way about Morrisons opening.

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admin
Administrator

Posts: 376
Joined: Dec 2002
Post: #47
15-07-2014 08:23 PM

Poll added Smile

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BringOutTheCranston


Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2013
Post: #48
15-07-2014 09:38 PM

Quote:
If you can't prove those allegations, I'd be very careful as that is potentially libelous


A defence against libel is that the statement is true.

In any case, why bring legal threats into it.

Let's have an open and frank debate about the topic under discussion. If you don't like what's said come back with a strong rebuttal not a mealy mouthed insinuation that if you say something controversial that you may be sued.

This post was last modified: 15-07-2014 09:39 PM by BringOutTheCranston.

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MightyMouse


Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2012
Post: #49
15-07-2014 10:31 PM

I'm genuinely interested to know, if the objections win out and Morrisons don't open on that site - who do the objectors honestly think will take the site?

It seems that you don't want a grocery store there. (Unless it's organic.) So you'll keep objecting to grocery stores. What about a restaurant? Is that what you want there? Or a charity shop perhaps? A nail bar? Maybe another estate agent? A hairdressers?

I always thought capitalism dealt with the whole supply/demand thing. If there is no demand for another grocery store, they'll pull back out again when they realise there's no profit for them here. Of course, those people in Forest Hill whose incomes don't allow them to shop in The Butchery, Aga's Little Deli or even Sainsburys might be pleased to have a store opening that's a little cheaper. (And even those of us who can afford these places might prefer a bargain.)

I get that it's not "perfect" - well, not perfect for those objecting, and perhaps not even perfect for those who are happy for it to go ahead. For others, though, it might well be just the ticket - and those others might well include a load of people who don't hang about on internet forums or Twitter to make their opinions known.

But for those objecting - seriously, what do you want to see there that you honestly think is likely, given the size of the store and its location (which I imagine leads to a reasonable rent)?

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brencud


Posts: 31
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #50
15-07-2014 10:54 PM

In response to Glasshalffull and Perryman, without a planning application (and as has been pointed out, one shop taking over a lease from another isn't 'development' and therefore doesn't require planning) I don't see how the community or the Council have any control over the servicing arrangements. These Local/Metro supermarkets also get multiple deliveries each day. I have seen delivery lorries at these kinds of stores parked on double yellow lines, parked on pavements, blocking cycle lanes, you name it. It really is quite antisocial and presents a safety problem. Without the control you can get with planning conditions, there is nothing I am aware of that can be done to control even the servicing hours (apart from maybe restricting the hours of operation on the loading bay).

I don't think using the loading bay further up London Road would work. It's 50m away, so I don't think would be attractive to Morrisons. I could be wrong though; they must see some way to make this site work for them. I also don't think we, the community, want big supermarket lorries (even small lorries are big in the human context) sitting there for large parts of the day, with loads of trolleys going up and down the pavement. There are no controls on this, so it could be during rush hour, at school finishing time, at weekends, anytime. With the South Circular traffic, London Road has enough problems as it is.

On a personal note, my family does use M&Co from time to time (we're the only ones in FH from the sounds of things!). There aren't really any alternatives for kids clothes in FH, or even in Sydenham. We'll be sad to see it go.

That said, I haven't signed the petition as I don't object to Morrisons or the alcohol licence in principle. I just have concerns about safety and amenity in relation to the servicing strategy, which we don't actually know anything concrete about yet.

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brencud


Posts: 31
Joined: Nov 2013
Post: #51
15-07-2014 11:10 PM

"What about a restaurant? Is that what you want there? Or a charity shop perhaps? A nail bar? Maybe another estate agent? A hairdressers?"

Hi MightyMouse. A change of use to anything other than 'normal' retail (i.e. away from selling things to selling services, or hot food or drink) would require a planning application, which would allow us greater scrutiny of the plans, and potentially also better control of the outcomes. I think that is one of the things frustrating many people on here as Morrisons will not need to go down this route.

I'm with you on the supply and demand thing, Morrisons clearly see a market for themselves here and M&Co do not.

However, as I've mentioned, the principle of this store does not bother me significantly, but the lack of opportunity to scrutinise some of the detail does.

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BillieJameson


Posts: 48
Joined: Jan 2014
Post: #52
15-07-2014 11:39 PM

M &Co don't seem to have enough regular business which I think is a shame. I like having Bunka and the other clothes shops in FH but they are too young for me and I like buying for children of friends and family. I don't object to Morrison's for the booze element but it's the lack of variety of what's on offer.

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rbmartin


Posts: 795
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #53
15-07-2014 11:40 PM

Quote:
A defence against libel is that the statement is true.


Again can you prove what he said about people who are against Morrisons are doing it for their own dubious and I quote "dishonest" way?

I'm hardly controversial, just trying to prove that this person is throwing his toys out of the pram as his claims are ridiculous.

Anyway, the problems appear to be:

Inadequate loading area for the regular deliveries of stock. M&Co won't have as many deliveries as Morrisons will. This scuppered the original proposal for an M&S Simply Food on the Iceland site in East Dulwich.

Another shop selling alcohol within a very close area to two others already selling booze in a retail premises, I.S. and Sainsburys, not to mention five pubs (inc. Sylvan Post) within a 5 min walk.

Saturation of the grocery market in Forest Hill, which could lead to a long term decline for some independent stores. A case to prove this is Sainsbury's Local in Lordship Lane by the Plough pub. Takings of the surrounding independent grocers went down 40% when it opened in 2011. The retailer close to Sainsburys which has a post office is moving to smaller premises.

However as some people are using the capitalism argument, the other way to get M out is simply not to shop there. When people realise that the customer service is poor with very little support from senior management, they'll move with their feet back to Sainsburys and the smaller stores.

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sydenhamcentral


Posts: 269
Joined: Mar 2008
Post: #54
15-07-2014 11:41 PM

Does anyone think that an M local would be cheaper than Sainsbury's? I'd be very surprised if it's not more expensive than Sainsbury's. Local, Metro, Local etc stores generally are.

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MightyMouse


Posts: 122
Joined: Apr 2012
Post: #55
16-07-2014 07:32 AM

Local convenience stores are indeed usually more expensive than their large equivalents. I'd be pleasantly surprised to find that the Sainsburys in Forest Hill has the same prices as the huge one at Bell Green - I don't know.

But if Morrisons open a few doors down from the existing Forest Hill Sainsburys and are not competing on price, they're idiots and deserve to fail. They're not going to get by just on being marginally closer to the station.

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #56
16-07-2014 10:14 AM

Quote:
I'm hardly controversial, just trying to prove that this person is throwing his toys out of the pram as his claims are ridiculous.


Bizarre. I'm just pointing out one or two inconsistencies in the argument of those opposed to this change of use. I find the arguments advanced so far deeply unimpressive and misguided.

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Baboonery


Posts: 581
Joined: Sep 2007
Post: #57
16-07-2014 10:17 AM

Quote:
Does anyone think that an M local would be cheaper than Sainsbury's? I'd be very surprised if it's not more expensive than Sainsbury's. Local, Metro, Local etc stores generally are.


But Morrisons' price point is generally lower than Sainsbury's, in which case this would partially cancel out. Besides, it's competing on a number of levels, not least the 'being open for substantially longer hours' thing - I'd imagine it'll get a disproportionate amount of its trade after 5 on a Sunday and after 10 on a weeknight.

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Red67


Posts: 141
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #58
16-07-2014 10:25 AM

I think you've got it right, Baboonery. If you look at the range of opening hours for M Local stores it's generally 7am - 11pm (with a couple of exceptions that open at 6am) so i agree, the market they are after is the early morning/late evening, which is catered for at present by a number of smaller convenience stores....

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stefan74uk
Unregistered


Post: #59
16-07-2014 11:17 AM

Quote:
Does anyone think that an M local would be cheaper than Sainsbury's? I'd be very surprised if it's not more expensive than Sainsbury's. Local, Metro, Local etc stores generally are.


Quote:
Of course, those people in Forest Hill whose incomes don't allow them to shop in The Butchery, Aga's Little Deli or even Sainsburys might be pleased to have a store opening that's a little cheaper. (And even those of us who can afford these places might prefer a bargain.)


Major brands in general, and the big supermarkets specifically, have become very good at making us believe that we’re getting great deals when this is not always the case. Morrisons have (by default or by design - not sure) ended up in this “affordable” category, but it’s not necessarily possible to make conclusive blanket comparisons (side note - I often find my best veggie bargains from the local street trader on London Rd - give him a try sometime).

I did a price comparison on http://mysupermarket.co.uk for a fairly plain basket of 12 food items, and there isn’t much difference in online prices: Morrisons came in at £16.83 vs Sainsbury’s at £17.05 (I went for standard/basics no-name options as far as possible, and also made minor adjustments for weight or quantity where necessary to ensure a like-for-like comparison.)

A second basket containing a range of 8 cheap alcoholic beverages comes in at £58.90 at Morrisons vs £62.50 at Sainsbury’s, with Morrisons undercutting Sainsbury’s on each individual item.

You can view the numbers here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1...sp=sharing

This is by no means a scientific study and you have to be very careful when doing these comparisons as I’ve already said - but this actually underscores the point: There will be a gazzilion different combinations here each giving a different answer (see for example this basket, which uses slightly less basic items, and tells a different story: http://www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk/money/...comparison). Who's cheaper depends on what you typically buy, and there are other factors at play, including whether the “local” Metro version of the store actually has a different pricing model to the online retailer & big stores which the above analyses both rely on. I also didn’t factor Sainsbury’s “brand match” into the above analysis which will make a difference when it comes to branded alcohol items.

The problem is that none of this matters in the world of convenience, brand recognition, smart marketing, 2-for-1 deals and clever in-store product placements. Here we will have an instantly recognisable brand on a prominent site playing all of those cards and drawing in the footfall, but not genuinely offering anything new, or anything consistently & definitively cheaper for the convenience shopper, at a time when those of us who value a vibrant high street would rather see more diversity, along with no more stores retailing alcohol at convenient hours - because we feel we have enough of those already and we’d rather see our local versions prosper.

Quote:
I always thought capitalism dealt with the whole supply/demand thing. If there is no demand for another grocery store, they'll pull back out again when they realise there's no profit for them here.


This is a fair point. Shouldn’t we just let the market sort this out? Well yes - of course that’s an option, but there are many examples in capitalism where we intervene to uphold principles: competition policy, fair trade, sin taxes & fuel duties to name but a few. You may of course have your own opinion as to the suitability of each of these measures, but the point is that we don’t just always leave things up to supply and demand, so it isn’t really that strange that a group of locals are interested in bringing other factors into this economic decision. Now, Michael again makes a fair point that big chains and local businesses can indeed co-exist, and I agree with that statement in general. I guess where we differ is in our analysis of where this specific sector will stand in Forest Hill - I feel that another supermarket chain will tip the balance the wrong way.

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stefan74uk
Unregistered


Post: #60
16-07-2014 11:18 AM

What could we have at this location instead? Well, I think there are a number of options obviously each subject to its own cost-benefit analysis - but these could include mens’ clothing, health foods, a restaurant serving kinds of cuisine we don’t already have or a fishmongers to name a few. It will be great if there is at least an opportunity for some increased diversity here. I understand that many local traders need to step up to the mark, and that’s why initiatives like SEE3 & Totally Locally exist - to try an help them differentiate, compete and market themselves better. This is an ongoing process and the reason for our campaigning here is to give them a fighting chance because we believe that a high street full of independent shops (both high-end and low-end) is good for our community.

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