I have lived in Kennington long enough to remember the petition against the Tesco superstore on Kennington Lane. I am also able to admit I was wrong to sign it. The store brought a lot of local jobs and access for people in the Princes and Oval wards to a wide variety of goods at reasonable prices. It also became a friendly place with a lot of very helpful staff and a chance to meet neighbours.
So fast forward to 2019 and I wonder how much Tesco learnt about public opinion. We are about to lose the store for at least three weeks and Tesco seem unwilling to go public with details of what is happening.
So what below is based on talking to staff, their friends and what I have learnt through the planning process. The store manager was unable to go on the record, trapped I suspect between head office and her personal inclinations. If Tesco want to correct anything please get in touch.
1. The store will close from June 30th to July 20th while it moves to a temporary store being built on the car park.
2. This very inconvenient gap could have been avoided if new shelving, freezers etc. had been brought in but this would have cost money.
3. The temporary store will be smaller than the current one and be in place for between 18 months and two years. (I’d put money on it being a lot longer)
4. There will be significantly fewer staff following redundancies (Tesco would not say how many to me). According to a source I know this has affected some of the longest serving staff most severely. So expect to be missing some of the friendly faces we have become used to?
5. And two trees will have to be demolished to make way for the building site. If you don’t know what is happening there will be a new Tesco eventually (about 10% smaller) with flats above it. Here are the plans.
Sadly too late to make much of a fuss but if you are unhappy let Tesco know:
Cllr. Jon Davies
PS The Pharmacy will stay open one way or another throughout.