Concern for small shops as Poundland comes to Southwark Park Road

News Desk (12 May, 2016) Regeneration

The discount chain requested permission to display signs where the old Co-Op was

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Poundland has filed for planning permission where the old Co-Op supermarket on Southwark Park Road used to be, prompting concerns over how it will impact on smaller retailers, writes Alex Yeates…

The discount chain requested permission to display signs at the unit on April 18, confirming previous rumours.

Russell Dryden, head of Bermondsey BID, said: “It is very disappointing that the Co-Op has closed and especially for the staff, many who have worked there for a very long time and had built great relations with their customers over the years.

“I went into the store on Saturday to find that it was packed all day with people clearing the stock at discounted rates.

“One member of staff I spoke to said that it was a shame that more people did not use the store on a regular basis.

“While it is good news that the unit could be occupied quickly, and Poundland does provide good value and attract additional footfall, my concern is that it could be detrimental to the smaller retailers.

“Many who have voiced their concerns to me and it is debatable if it is the favoured option for a small local retail area like the Blue, which is renowned for its high content of small family run shops that offer a unique personal quality service and are the lifeblood of the area.”

Blue regular Matthew Redmond, 78, said: “It’s not a good thing. You only get rubbish in the Poundland. The Co-Op was a little bit more expensive than the Iceland. But we still went there, they do everything.”

Another shopper, Maureen Statham, 69, retired, told the News: “It’s better than not having anything or getting more betting or fast food shops. It’s better to be used than to stay empty.”

Poundland declined to comment.

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