There have been rumours for a few weeks about the closure of Cleveleys Tesco, because of rent costs. It was confirmed to staff on Friday 3 August 2018. It’s clear that the community of Cleveleys want to fight to keep the vibrancy of our high street. So now we turn our attentions to what we can actually DO next.
The alarming thing about the news that Cleveleys Tesco Metro will close in the near future is that it feels like the thin end of the wedge. It’s one, single shop worth having, and worth coming into Cleveleys for. It’s one of the anchor stores which give people a reason to come to town. Once they are here they spend with other retailers.
It’s not about looking after the ‘Tesco’ brand and propping up a multi-national. We all know that they backed themselves into a corner with their finances and this is probably the fall-out from that. What we’re bothered about is our town, that shop unit, the staff who work there and the footfall that it attracts.
Does the closure of Cleveleys Tesco Metro spell the arrival of Jacks Discount Chain?
Well, it’s all been deathly quiet on the western front regarding the closure of Tesco. What we do know is that the store will close on 4 November, and all of the staff have been told.
Other than that, everyone is remaining tight lipped. It’s been impossible to get anything from behind the wall of silence that surrounds landlords, letting agents and Tesco themselves.
Another subject that was discussed several times is the possibility of our Tesco Metro being one of the stores that’s being converted into the new Tesco value chain called ‘Jacks’.
David McDonald posted an article (below) from the Retail Gazette. 60 conversions is quite a lot out of 172 Metro stores, so fingers crossed that Wednesday 19 September 2018 brings good news for Cleveleys! It would also explain why the store is closing on 4 November – it’s hopefully for a refit and not to disappear.
The first ‘Jacks’ will be unveiled by Tesco Chief Exec Dave Lewis, in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, on Wednesday. It’s been closed for 4 years since their store opening programme was mothballed in 2014. Tesco has named the stores ‘Jacks’ after the founder, Jack Cohen. It’s their next tactic to regain market share from the discount food retailers including Aldi and Lidl – and we’ve got both names here in Cleveleys.
Closure of Cleveleys Tesco – and what might happen next
Retail is changing all over the UK. Hefty town centre rents, the burden of business rates, all of the overheads that must be met, all combine to make running a shop an expensive occupation. Match that against the convenience of supermarkets, out-of-town centres and of course the internet and town centres have a struggle on their hands. A lot of familiar, household names have closed their doors recently or are currently in trouble. No one can be complacent.
Town centres must offer something else, become a destination, an experience in their own right. You don’t have to look far to see what can happen – what we DON’T want to happen here. Cleveleys Coastal Community Team, formed in Spring 2017, went back to basics and started sorting out the practical problems which Cleveleys has got. A lot of headway has been made with a small team of volunteers – but there’s still a lot that could be done. Why don’t you join in?
Without shops like Tesco, there’s a possibility that eventually people won’t come into Cleveleys at all. Then the independents will really suffer. Buying shopping in the butchers, bakers and candlestick makers is a lovely idea, but lets face it, it’s not going to be the way to shop of choice for everyone, and the ones who will already do support their locals. If Tesco has to go, we can at least try and influence who comes here next and show that there is support for a similar retailer. Lets see if we can make a positive outcome from this – rather than the shop ending up carved into three small units that eventually become… more charity shops.
So what can we DO?
Sitting back and keeping quiet will achieve nothing. If the community displays unity and support for a single retailer of a similar nature taking over the tenancy there is more chance that another one will. We can only do our best. Would you be willing and able to do any part of this campaign?
- Join the Save Cleveleys Tesco Facebook Group – it’s a simple way to create a loud voice
- Come to a street meeting at the Care for Cleveleys Clean Up on Tuesday 7 August from 10am
- Hand out Save our Supermarket leaflets
- Join a demonstration in the town centre
- Contact the Landlord
- Contact other names who might want to move to Cleveleys. Co-op and Iceland have both been suggested.
How the News about the Closure of Cleveleys Tesco Unfolded
On 2 August 2018 the Blackpool Gazette ran an article saying the closure of Cleveleys Tesco had been confirmed.
The retailer is known to have been in negotiations with the landlord and owner of the premises for some time regarding the rent, and apparently those discussions have drawn a blank. (The rent being charged by the owner of the building, entirely separate to business rates).
The Cleveleys town centre premises are listed online as being available for rent.
Behind the scenes, we are trying to do what we can to see whether there’s anything to be done to influence the decision:
- A few weeks ago Visit Cleveleys contacted the Tesco Cleveleys store for a comment, but no reply has been received yet.
- We have contacted the national and then regional Communications Team at Tesco for their comments. We will let you know when we receive a response.
- The Economic Development Team at Wyre Council have been asked if they are able to have any influence.
- Does it make any difference that Cleveleys is a Coastal Community Team area?
- Paul Maynard MP has been asked to look into it (see below)
Comment on the Closure of Cleveleys Tesco
Paul Maynard MP posted the following response on his Facebook page on 3.4.18:
“I’m disappointed to hear the news about Tesco Metro in Cleveleys. I have been in contact with the company this morning and have been promised that every effort will be made to place staff in other stores and give them all necessary support.
“This will clearly have an impact on the high street and on choice for shoppers in Cleveleys. I have already contacted the Chief Executive of Tesco UK asking the company to make a commitment to Cleveleys, even if it is not in the current location.”
Closure of Cleveleys Tesco will be a big blow to the town
Tesco has been right at the centre of the town of Cleveleys for as many years as we can all care to remember.
We think that the block which houses Tesco, Boots and the phone shop (formerly the Eating House cafe) was built in 1970. (Does anyone know if that’s correct? If you do please let us know).
Tesco has occupied that shop unit since the block was built. Originally there was an upstairs to the shop, with electricals and homeware. It was accessed by an escalator where the cigarette kiosk is now.
It’s popular with people who live in the vicinity and shop in the town centre, with both residents and visitors. Since Cleveleys is a retirement area, the store is also very popular with the towns older residents. Many of them haven’t got cars and are unable to do a week’s heavy shopping in an out-of-town supermarket, and instead buy things bit by bit. It’s also central and easy to access.
Reason for the Closure of Cleveleys Tesco
On Friday 3 August 2018, Tesco Cleveleys was closed briefly at the start of the days trading for a staff meeting. Those who were on duty assembled to be told that it was official, that the store is to close. Those who weren’t in work were phoned and given the news.
It was confirmed that the reason is because negotiations regarding the rent have broken down. There are two versions of why: that the owner of the building has increased the rent and Tesco are unwilling to pay, and that Tesco has asked for a rent reduction which the landlord is unwilling to meet.
No official statement has been made as to which is the correct version. However, a source did say that they’d spoken to Tesco on the day that news broke and they had been told that a rent reduction had been refused.
It’s also been confirmed that the last trading day is 4 November 2018.
Property Agents Morgan Martin have the Tesco Cleveleys store listed as To Let on their website.
The details state:
Prime Retail Unit
AS A WHOLE OR IN PART
41-45 Victoria Road West, CLEVELEYS, FY5 1BS
As a whole: Ground Floor 10,000 sq ft – First Floor 10,000 sq ft
Capable of sub-division: Ground Floor (three) units from 1,500 sq ft
First Floor: Suitable for Leisure Use subject to planning
Rateable Value: £193,000.00
Debate has raged on Facebook for some weeks about whether this is a stand-off between the landlords and Tesco, and now our fears have been confirmed.
Whatever the reason, shoppers and staff alike certainly don’t want the store to close. It’s an anchor store for Cleveleys which draws people in to the town centre.
The Tesco Direct website also stopped trading from 9 July 2018, with over 500 jobs at risk at the distribution centre in Milton Keynes. Once the cost of running the online operation had been accounted for, along with the cost of actually sending out the orders, it was failing to make a profit.
Save Cleveleys Tesco
Here at Visit Cleveleys we decided to take matters into our own hands. While we were waiting for official confirmation from the Comms person at Tesco HQ, we set up a Save Cleveleys Tesco Facebook Group
It gives us mere mortals who shop there and rely on the town centre to make our feelings known.
What we can actually DO to influence the decision may be limited. But we can certainly make a noise and register our displeasure.
Join the group and let’s at least give a show of strength. We might not be able to persuade both Tesco HQ and the landlord that the closure of Cleveleys Tesco isn’t a good idea after all, but at least we can try.
This is a fight that people power really might be able to influence. There’s one thing for certain, if you do nothing, you’ll get nothing.
So join the fight against the closure of Cleveleys Tesco and join the group.
Find out More
Have a look at the Visit Cleveleys website homepage for more of the latest updates.
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