by: Dick Stroud
Tesco, the mega UK supermarket group, has just announced that it is pulling out of building an eco-town.Overseas readers - you really don’t want to know about eco towns other than to say it is a UK Government initiative that has created widespread anger and derision. Corporates who were daft enough to become associated with the project are now doing the proverbial rats and sinking ship trick.
It was announced last week that the Tesco had decided to join the exodus.
In the same week I noticed the company has submitted plans for a 60,000sq ft store in Newcastle that will be the UK’s first pensioner-friendly supermarket.
Apparently the store will feature extra wide aisles, anti-slip flooring and trolleys with locking wheels and built-in chairs.
The store would be based on the Kaiser supermarket, near Berlin - the first to offer facilities for "silver shoppers". The supermarket is likely to be a partner in a deal with Newcastle University and the city's NHS Foundation Trust.
Now here comes the interesting bit. Under the plans, the hospital, close to the city centre, would be redeveloped and in its place would be the supermarket and the multi-million pound Institute for Ageing and Health. How convenient, a nice prime city site for a supermarket.
I have the highest regard for Tesco. It is a real world class company.
Am I being a tad cynical seeing alternative motives in Tesco’s actions? Have the company's directors really concluded that they: must do something about the ageing population”?
Whatever the reason I do hope the project goes ahead since Tesco might discover that whilst its decision, to cater for the older market, may have been for the wrong reasons it was a very sound commercial decision.
Maybe Grey is destined to become the same as Green and appended to planning applications in the hope of increasing their chances of success.