Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Shepherd's Bush: Sainsburys on Askew Road hits small business

I've been speaking to small businesses on the Askew Road, three of them to be precise, none of which wanted to be identified. But each of them, representing different trades, have told me that since Sainsburys opening their store on the old derelict garage space they have noticed a drop in customers. In two cases they have actually had to put their prices up although they said this was a marginal increase.

Sainsburys don't generally have the reputation of Tescos for putting small traders out of business, and in any case that site opposite the doctors surgery looks a thousand times better than it did as a derelict car park with some kind of quasi legal car washing scheme being run on it. But since I was put on to this story by a reader last weekend it does seem that the existing businesses on the Askew Road have found their lives made harder by it being there.

It's tempting simply to have a go at Sainsburys but I think that's too simplistic and in fairness even one of the shopkeepers I spoke to also said the supermarket had smartened the road up. At the end of the day just because it's there doesn't mean we have to buy all of our groceries there and the Askew Road boasts some excellent small shops that offer a very tailored service - from booze to bread to, er, fried chicken! So maybe the lesson in this is one to ourselves - if we want to keep those sorts of shops going on one of the least well known but least Westfield-ised parts of the Bush - we'd better use them ourselves.

I'm sure this was a topic of conversation at the launch of the Askew Business Network at the Greyhound Pub just off Askew Rd last week. Sadly I was taken ill with the obligatory November cold just beforehand so wasn't able to make it but I heard around 70 people turned up and that the atmosphere was very positive indeed. There's a lot going for this part of the Bush, and these people are going to be the key to making it happen. So good luck to them.

1 comment:

  1. Appreciate the concerns of local shopkeepers, however the general consensus in my street is that Sainsburys has significantly improved that end of Askew Road, particularly in relation to the lighting. The derelict garage was a haven for local crackheads and getting off at the bus stop nearby at night could be a precarious experience.

    Having said that, hopefully we can retain the character of Askew Road by supporting the independents such as the tailors, record shop and second hand furniture store whilst resisting any attempts to transform the derelict pubs and storefronts into pawn, chicken or betting shops of which we have more than our quota.

    Any news on the Rat & Carrot?