25 October 2014

We said 'No'to Timpson at Tesco and they listened!

I received a most delicious phone call yesterday from Fuchsia at Shepton Mallet Journal, telling me the news that Tesco had withdrawn their application for a Timpson pod!



As, at the time of writing, I am not aware of any comments made by Timpson or Tesco, I assume the withdrawal of the application is as a direct result of our online petition, set up in July of this year. The power of well over 500 signatures and over 150 strong comments, combined with great local press coverage by Shepton Mallet Journal, a supportive mention by Kevin McCloud in his Grand Designs Magazine and supportive retweets from local business man and creator of Kilver Court, Roger Saul and his other connections, which attracted more and more support.



Our online petition was set up using change.org, the format of their website was extremely easy to use with really useful articles and tips to help us garner extra support.



This is the first time I have ever set up a petition to campaign against an economic injustice, or any kind of injustice and to think it has been successful, is incredible. A massive thank you to you, if you did anything in any way to support this action!



Now to focus on the changing face of our High Street! Together we can make change.





Shepton Mallet shops triumph as application for Timpson at Tesco is withdrawn | Shepton Mallet Journal

3 October 2014

Celebrity TV Presenter Supports Our 'Say No to Timpson at Tesco' campaign!



It's about time you had a good old update about our campaign to 'Say No to Timpson at Tesco', isn't it.

In July, James Timpson, the Managing Director of Timpson, gave me a call to have a chat about the situation in Shepton Mallet, where a planned Timpson pod, installed in the Tesco retail park will threaten our high street, even more. I was really looking forward to that chat, knowing full well, that he would of course listen to sense, community duty and ethics, I was looking forward to putting the phone down and rushing to tell Mike Alford, the cobbler's son, the good news. I knew that we would make a difference and I knew that James Timpson would acknowledge that the Townsend location, as an edge of town retail park, would prove to be a valid threat indeed to the high street and I knew that he would reassure me that he would ask Tesco to withdraw the planning application.

Oh, but this didn't happen, at all. Mr Timpson did try to reassure me but unfortunately he tried to reassure me that when he has a shop in a town centre and then he opens one on a retail park, the takings in the other shop, on the high street are not affected and if they are then only marginally so. I pointed out that this was an edge of town retail park, rather than an out of town retail park but he didn't really seem to take that point on board. He also told me that what they were doing was not morally wrong in his eyes. He also said that if Timpson thought for one minute that it would affect the shop already in the High Street, they would not do it.

I asked Mr Timpson, if he would come to Shepton Mallet, to have a look at the situation and to also meet with the shop keepers, to see what they thought and felt about the planning application to put a Timpson pod in the Townsend Retail Park, that invitation was refused, although he said he would maybe pop in for a coffee one day.

To say I was disappointed with that outcome, wouldn't do my feelings justice. I felt very, very wronged indeed. It was good that Mr Timpson took the time to call me and to talk and to be interested but I am afraid he did it just so that I could spread his word of good intentions and he wasn't actually interested in a conversation, or a negotiation about where his Timpson pod could go. I know where I'd like it to go but that's another matter.

I felt that was a blow to the campaign and I hadn't achieved what I set out to do.

The next blow was when one of my new Facebook friends was looking for a job in Shepton Mallet and came across an advert for a trainee shoe repair person, for their branch in Shepton Mallet! I couldn't believe the cheek of it! Can you imagine interviewing people for a position for a job in a pod, that hasn't even got planning permission? Can you imagine doing that? Can you imagine being interviewed for that job, you're skint, been unemployed for ages, spend time, money and hope on sending off your CV and then being interviewed and there isn't even actually a JOB! That is just so wrong.

Then one day, Mike Alford, came rushing into the shop to tell me that the petition had been mentioned in Channel 4's Grand Designs Magazine and that the TV Presenter Kevin McCloud had signed it. It's in the October issue! I am so grateful to Kevin McCloud for supporting our campaign in this way. This has given the campaign a real boost, with front page coverage from Shepton Mallet Journal and they've also printed the link to the petition in the paper, which is fantastic. I can see the petition is now reaching more locals, with more signatures trickling in. At the time of writing we are on 486, getting to 500 would be great!

Please sign our Petition.

Then, after signing our petition please take the following steps to support our campaign:

1/ Please share this petition with your friends, via social media and email.
2/ Please email Tessa Munt, to express your opposition:    Tessa.munt.mp@parliament.uk
3/ Spend at least £10 a week in your local independent shops instead of Tesco! Don't forget Shepton Mallet's Friday Market, with Fruit, Vegetables, Meat, Fish, Baked Goods, Plants and Flowers, as well as our unique High Street!

29 August 2014

Shopping Psychology and Town Transformation


As an independent shop keeper, it is definitely in my interest to keep up a powerful campaign to encourage people to choose to shop local and independent, it's also in my interests as a human, who needs sustainability, a strong circular economy and ethics, so the people in my community, my family and my friends, can enjoy jobs, stability and a cohesive and supportive community in which to live. Having a viable High Street, that looks good and works well is a part of the formula for a strong community. Independent shops act as little social hubs, where people meet to connect, chat and find out new information, as much as to actually shop.


After having opened two coffee shops, I have observed an interesting phenomenon, that I would not have been able to predict at all before opening those shops. I am certainly learning more about the psychology of shopping, every single day, it's a mind game and I am definitely hooked.

The question is why do newcomers to an area, whether they've been there for decades, or have just moved in, seem to find it easier to first of all, notice a shop, second of all to walk into a shop and third of all become regular customers, passionate supporters and after a time, true friends?

In my Shepton Mallet shop, I see locals choosing to walk all the way up the High Street, shop at Tesco and then walk down again, with heavy bags of shopping, without stopping at one independent shop in our town, without even glancing in any of the pretty and well presented windows.

People do have a choice and that is their choice, even though there is a Friday market which sells better and much cheaper fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and bread, is more fun to shop at and is closer to where they live, than Tesco! It doesn't seem logical to me. So what is the psychology underlying the decision to shop in a large chain where most of your money is siphoned off, away from the local economy, as opposed to shopping local and independent, where studies have shown this creates a stronger local economy for the community, with around 70p in every pound being re-spent in the local community. Bearing this in mind it stuns me when I see independent shop keepers choosing to spend their money in Tesco, especially in this town, where Tesco has too overwhelming a presence.

I suppose part of the problem could be that many locals have seen businesses start up and then fail, they lose their confidence in the viability of the town centre and then give up.

Thinking about it, there's a similar problem, with our shop on Platform 1, Enfield Chase Train station. There had been five or six businesses before us that opened up for at the longest 6 months and then closed down. Local people's perception of the viability of investing their time and money into that business and relying on it for their coffee, has been eroded over the years by consistent closures. Some people, when I get round to having a chat with them, have stood on the platform, every day at the same time for years and years and tell me they didn't even know there was a coffee shop there let alone one that has one several awards, produced a local Fairtrade Directory, appeared on Television several times and in the local papers too! They don't notice the signs, I mean real signs, printed ones, in the ticket hall, along the platform, on the platform and the other signs such as the aroma of coffee, freshly baked cakes and other people holding cups of freshly made coffee! Although one of our long time customers is a partially sighted musician. How on earth did he manage to find us, when we are tucked around the corner of the wall and others that can see, can't see that we are there but he can? Not one to be backwards in coming forward, I asked how he could find us, when plenty of seeing people couldn't! He said he followed the gorgeous smell of coffee and found us. This makes me feel that there is a kind of 'local blindness' where people just do not see the new shops and aren't interested anyway.

So, is the explanation that some people feel open-minded and ready and are actively seeking new experiences and others are focused on their routine, that works well for them and at that time, they do not want to have a new experience, it would be simply too stressful, too challenging, too far outside the comfort zone, however, when they go on holiday, have more time, feel more relaxed, they also feel more like cherishing and enjoying new experiences. Does that maybe explain why newcomers to an area discover our shop easily and feel good about walking in? They are a self-selected band of person who has already proven that they are open to new experiences at this time in their lives, as they have moved from one place to another, tourists and day-trippers have also ear-marked themselves as more open to new experiences and more open to choosing to shop independent.

Just yesterday, in our Shepton Mallet shop, it was near closing time and three very open and friendly people came in, two wanted coffee, the other wanted a cold drink with no added sugars, she loved our Raspberry Ginger Zinger. Whilst waiting, they spotted Agave Nectar and Cashew Nut Butter and bought two lots of each, they bought some cake too. Just as I opened the fridge, to tidy away the milk, I spotted the gorgeous Booja Booja, handmade champagne chocolate  truffles, made with agave nectar, that are gluten-free and dairy-free. I felt I had a duty to tell them about these truffles but on the other hand, didn't want them to feel obliged to buy them. So, I told them about these truffles, which I absolutely adore and start to positively drool if I think about them and it's even worse if I talk about them. I actually had to apologise for drooling. They bought two little boxes of my truffles and saved them to enjoy later. (I call them my truffles because I buy them from myself too, so they are all mine, unless you buy them). I really enjoyed those customers, they were open-minded, receptive and they wanted a great experience. Where did they come from? Were they local? No, they were day trippers, from Bristol and they will be back! Earlier on that day I had another lovely group of people in, relishing coffee and cakes and soaking up a special experience. Where were they from? New Zealand! They thought they wouldn't need a loyalty card because they are not from here, I assured them they would need it, as our coffee is so good and they will want more, even if they think they are driving away, I said they will not be able to go without having more and will have to turn back. Yup, that loyalty card was all used up in one session!

We always ask where people are from, especially in our Shepton Mallet shop, one day I had seven customers in the shop at the same time, I asked where these individual customers were from, they were all from London, like me! We've been in Shepton Mallet for a year now and our customers are a lovely eclectic mix of mainly creatives, thinkers, tourists, people that have moved into the area, day-trippers and other local independent business owners. When we first opened, I imagined that our core customer base would be people born and bred in Shepton Mallet, relieved that another lovely shop would be coming to the High Street and willingly wanting to support it, our customer base is completely different to that. Why? It doesn't make sense when the born and bred locals are the loudest in complaining about the High Street and the newcomers are the most enthusiastic advocates. This isn't the case in just Shepton Mallet, a facebook discussion reveals that some born and bred locals in the Frome area choose to take a bus to Trowbridge to shop, rather than go to the local independents, or even the chains. It is reported that they perceive the High Street as being unable to fulfil their needs. Yet other people travel from other places to enjoy their High Street.


So, what is going on? Is it the 'grass is always greener' syndrome, where people appreciate far more what they haven't got, than what is right on their doorstep? What is in their town is maybe perceived as run down and not commercialised enough, whereas a newcomer sees the town through interested eyes full of anticipation, looking for the possibilities, noticing the beauty, the potential and the positives.
It's a different mindset.


Is it like blackberry picking where the fruit furthest away looks more plump, shiny and juicy than the ones easily in reach? Is that the underlying psychology here? Is it that we always want what we haven't got? Is this just another symptom of a society that is weary and jaded and projects that feeling onto the surrounding environment? Are people fed up and tired and miss the positives happening right under their noses because it's always been bad?

In Enfield, it took me about 3 years of going outside the Enfield shop, chatting to one man in particular that I felt would enjoy our shop, until one day, finally he stepped inside and ordered a coffee! Now, he is one of our faithful and supportive regulars and he loves us and our shop. I have the feeling that if we were a recognisable big brand name like Costa there would be no, or little hesitation in walking in. Is that maybe because of the high levels of consumer trust that Costa have established over the years? Is it the high comfort level of knowing exactly what the environment will be like when you walk in, knowing what the coffee will taste like, knowing that this is a low risk situation, with a high chance that you'll get what you imagined you would get? Having put it like that, I can see how easy it is to walk into a recognisable chain and how difficult and challenging it can be to walk into an independent, after all, your time and money is at risk. Economic times are hard, so you want to lessen the risk and deal with what you know.

It's easy to trust a Tesco or Costa, as they are everywhere, you know more or less what to expect and you don't need to step outside your comfort zone.

I notice that when people walk into either of my shops, they look around and completely get it, within 5 seconds, or I have to say, hello, we are a coffee and health food shop. Holiday makers, creatives, day trippers and other independent business owners are the people that are attracted to walking inside our little havens of coffee and community.

If we had one of these shops on every High Street, people would instantly recognise it and feel very comfortable walking in, as they have walked in to many of these before. It would feel safe and easy for them.
Sometime independent shops close due to illness, family issues, or a holiday. It's a catch 22 situation, where it is perhaps not financially viable to take on staff, so independents are perceived as being unreliable. Now, if you love independent shops and are a strong supporter of the revitalization of the High Street, you take it on the chin and go back when they are open. If you are looking for convenience only, you'll feel fed up and go to a chain that is always open. Which means another customer is lost.

Today, I made the decision, that in the grand scheme of things, it was more important to finish this blog post, than anything else, that's my creative side being unleashed and allowed to breathe. The shop however, is not open because I am at home writing this and just could not stop my flow.


So, for my final questions:
Is it a problem if local people choose to shop somewhere else? Is it necessary for the success of the High Street, to encourage locals to shop there, or would that be like trying to get people that enjoy coffee to enjoy herbal tea, or vice versa?


Is it inherent in human nature to have a stronger ability to see what's good and be more attracted to new ideas when we are outside our usual environment. Could be that we like to hunt, we like to seek, we like to experience and for everyone of us, this only feels like the real thing, if we are not in our usual territory?
Could it be that, going on a shopping trip that is away from your own town is a great way to enjoy a day trip somewhere, for a reason, without feeling guilty for doing it?

As a business woman, I know that it is easier to make more sales to your regular customers than to gain a new customer, it is more cost effective to nurture and reward your current customers, than to attract a new one. So, on that basis, I feel that it is better to build positively on what is seen to be working.

The High Street is undergoing a massive transition at the moment, we need to embrace that transition and work with it, not against it. Maybe a part of that transition is that in the past the High Street was full of essential services and goods and every High Street had the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. With the internet and retail park revolution, High Streets are now full of services, charity shops, coffee shops, estate agents and so on. These things are physical and can't be done on the internet, or are a unique offering, such as crafts, clothes boutiques records or second-hand shops. So shopping on the High Street is transforming into more of a leisure time, treat yourself type of activity. Rather than day to day essential shopping, although there are some essentials still in place on the luckier High Streets, such as here in Shepton, where we have The Shepton Cobbler and our own Denela's Bakery, which has queues of people out of their door for freshly made sandwiches. We also have the Co-op in Town, the newly established ABC International Foods supermarket and Little Daisy Deli where you can get your food supplies from.
I am really, really proud of Shepton Mallet High Street and the small but effective weekly market and after a year of being here, there are strong signs of regeneration and attraction of investment in the town centre! A new Italian restaurant is opening up soon!

Let's go with the flow, let's dance on the waves of transformation, rather than trying to convince locals to shop on their High Street, let them choose to go elsewhere. The key to future success, is to build on the positivity that is already manifesting, in both Shepton Mallet and Frome, where those High Streets can be held up as examples of having an offering that is so attractive they draw in trade from tourists and regular trade from returning day trippers! That truly is something to celebrate and something to shout about and I feel proud that My Coffee Stop has been able to play even a small part in the ongoing transformation, just by having a shop on the High Street! And now I'd better get myself to work and open up that little shop!

30 July 2014

Timpson Trainee Manager required in Shepton Mallet!

Oh! Someone has spotted a job advert for Timpson in Shepton Mallet. How presumptuous!
Before planning permission has been granted!
Is this the way it works?


We need to up the ante now please!
Please write a personal comment on the Mendip District Council's website about this planning application, it really does have to be BLOCKED!

1/Please go to Mendip's website.
2/ Use the simple search.
3/ Put this reference number in: 2014/1326/FUL
4/ Select search.
5/ Choose to make a comment on the application, you will have to either log in or register, in order to do this.
If any of these instructions don't work when you do this, please feedback and tell me how to write it more clearly. Thank you.


28 July 2014

A Guest Blog by Chantal Allison: #Transition Towns #Shepton Mallet


Why it's a 'No' to Timpson in Shepton
By Chantal Allison, from Transition Shepton.


Once again, the turning of the 'clone-town' screw is being felt in Shepton. One major argument for inviting large corporations into our local economy is to create jobs for local people. What doesn't get said is that these jobs are usually for minimum wage and are probably only part-time.

The proposal for a #Timpson, offering shoe repairs, key cutting, watch repair and dry cleaning will, I believe, create 2-3 full-time jobs at best. However,  three local businesses will be directly  affected;  The Shepton Cobbler, Wash Tub and C H Penns, the independent jewellers. That's at least eight jobs that I'm aware of that are at risk. This is not taking into account the impact on other businesses as the result of the reduced footfall in the High Street.

Timpson are a corporate entity in their own right, who  have over 1000 pods throughout the UK in #Tesco and Sainsbury's. This arrangement of course, works in favour of the supermarkets, since it encourages people to shop in their store, with a so-called one-stop, 'convenient' shopping offering.  

The one-stop shopping approach has at least two, perhaps unintended, consequences:

1/ All profits made from local labour is funnelled straight into the corporation's central coffers away from the local economy, thus further impoverishing the town. 

Local businesses do not do this. They promote the circulation of wealth within the local economy.

2/ A sense of community can diminish.

 A thriving High Street often creates and invigorates the local community.

Promoting local businesses is not just a romantic hankering for the good old days. Large corporations such as Tesco could not function without oil. They need it both in their distribution of food and goods and in the running of  their over-lit and over-refrigerated stores. This will become more difficult to sustain and justify as fossil fuels become more scarce and more expensive to extract. The move towards fracking is evidence that easy options for extracting fossil fuels are running out. The corporations will inevitably pass all the necessary price hikes on to you, the consumer. And if they're the only show in town, then they'll charge what they like.

Shepton needs a long term vision which ensures local businesses can thrive, local people can prosper, and the unique character of our High Street is promoted and preserved. The wider benefits of a prosperous and vibrant High Street is an increased sense of community for local people, more visitors who bring wealth into the local economy and perhaps most importantly, increased resilience against the anticipated price hikes in energy and oil.

Come on, Mendip District Council! Show some imagination and innovative thinking! Use your  committment to regenerating the High St by finding long term solutions that benefit the whole community. 

Allowing a Timpson outlet at Tesco in the Townsend Retail Park, is not the way to do it.

***********************************************************
Thank you to Chantal Allison, from Transition Towns, for contributing to the My Coffee Stop Stories Blog.

Transition Shepton is part of the Transition Towns network, which is a nation-wide grass-roots movement  promoting ways of reducing the carbon footprint and encouraging towns to create their own initiatives.

27 July 2014

TESCO, 'Every Little Helps' so go on then, help!

I am just a shopkeeper with two shops and one of the most important things for me in business is ethics and sustainability, in fact, all my business decisions are taken with that in mind, in balance with the economics. I am not one for taking a business decision just because it would be good financially, it has to be sustainable and ethical and I have to be able to sleep at night and to know that I have helped my community and contributed to it in a positive way. Why can't Tesco do that?

It's no secret that Tesco are struggling, especially after the news that their CEO Philip Clarke was ousted after poor financial results. I believe #Tesco is suffering financially because they are too aggressive in upscaling their retail operations, at the expense of local communities and local long established businesses. Surely they must realise that economic times are extremely difficult. In their rapid diversification, they have not chosen the best option, this aggressive way of doing business destroys the economy of the local community, it directly takes the pounds out of the pockets of the very people, that Tesco need to be cash rich, their customers!

Someone needs to make Tesco see logical, economical sense:

In the short term profits rise with aggressive trading but in the long term, agressive trading destroys the health of the very economy it relies upon for it's success.

If I could have a chat with the Chairman of Tesco, not the CEO, as he is leaving and not with the incoming CEO because he'd be new to the job, this is what I would like to say:

'When Tesco decides to really give back to the community, when the relationship is truly symbiotic, instead of stifling, then you will see sustainability in your business.

When you give a percentage of your profits to your community, you will see that the community will choose to support you.

Think of sustainability and success in business, as being like the water cycle, if there was someone at the top siphoning off a large percentage of water for themselves, then the amount of water in the cycle would decrease and they too, would not be able to enjoy the resource of plentiful water, as the water cycle would have been destroyed, it would no longer be sustainable. That is what is happening to our economy, you are hoarding the finances, not sharing and that is why your profits will fall and fall. It is due to greed and faulty thinking that you have got yourselves into this mess. 

At the moment Tesco, I can't afford to support you. If I support you, then that would mean I would be supporting your plans which have already caused devastation across the UK's High Streets and supporting the planning application for a Timpson pod, which you have recently put in. This Timpson pod would offer, shoe, watch and jewellery repairs, as well as key-cutting and dry cleaning, all services which we have firmly established by family businesses, for years on our High Street.

Putting a pod like that in place will decrease footfall in the town center and be a kick in the guts for small businesses on the High Street, my customers. If you take money from my customers, I don't have money to be your customer!

Do you get it now? Do you understand why your business is now failing too? Tesco, you are busy destroying the circular economy, when you could actually be responsible for making it stronger and healthier.

Think about it, giving more to your local community financially, not just with tin collection schemes that customers pay you for and then you donate to a local charity and make yourself look generous when you've added 30% of your own goods on top but by encouraging local businesses to thrive, by really teaming up with them and working together towards mutually beneficial ways of trading. Do that and then you will see Tesco thrive again.

So, Tesco, if you want to know the secret to true economic success, it is sustainability and sharing.'

Seeing as it's not very likely that the Chairman of Tesco will have a chat with me. I appeal to you, to please help me to stop Tesco's planning permission from going through.

Please join my Say No to Timpson at Tesco campaign, by clicking on the link below and signing the petition  it brings up and sharing with your friends too. Thank you.

Say NO to Timpson at Tesco!

You can also log an objection to the planning application, directly to Mendip Council, using this link:

Application Objections

18 July 2014

#Tesco Expansion Plans with Timpson, Threaten The High Street and Not Just in Shepton Mallet!



Tesco have teamed up with Timpson and plan to provide Dry Cleaning, Watch and Jewellery repairs, Engraving, Shoe repairs and Key Cutting Services at their Shepton Mallet store. This is the information that I learnt today, from a fellow trader on the High Street, in Shepton Mallet.

To be honest, the Tesco here in Shepton Mallet is a sore point with the locals, many people actively refuse to step a foot inside the store but many people that live in Shepton Mallet, work in Tesco and visit the High Street too and the site does provide a couple of hours free parking and it doesn't mention you have to be their customer in order to park there. So, as in many situations there are positives and negatives and many mixed feelings.

I decided to Google about the Tesco and Timpson situation and have found out that there are several other places that have had exactly the same kind of planning permission application! Applications have gone in for Shepton Mallet, Bridgend, Cheltenham and Royston and I discovered those after just a five minute search, so there are bound to be more coming our way, across the UK. Looks to me like Tesco is trying to cope with a shrinking market. Yes, people have less money, the economy is down, they too have to find ways to increase their profits.

I however, envisage the High Street going into decline, with the footfall falling even more than it already has done, over the past year that we've been here. It is distressing to hear of shops, beautiful, quirky independent shops having to close, not because they have failed but because it is unsustainable to continue renting on the High Street, so the business runs but online, or from home.

Incredibly, as I was writing this piece, a couple walked into our shop, in Shepton Mallet and needed a refreshing and revitalising cup of tea. As they sat down, we chatted together and I mentioned that I was writing a blog about Tesco and Timpson teaming up. The gentleman, Simon, mentioned that the managing director of Timpson was his God Son. He told me that James Timpson started off, originally, as a shoe retailer but stopped that and moved into repairs, he went on to say that they were good employers and re-trained ex-offenders, so they could have a secure job and re-intergrate into the community. As he mentioned this, the humanity behind the business came into focus, there's a real man with his dreams and visions and his chance to contribute to our society and he's doing it successfully.

Where does that leave us? Where does that leave our much loved High Street, which quite honestly, if it was loved so much, would be used more? What if they were to actually open on the High Street? Maybe we should thank our lucky stars that they are targeting customers for the retail park and they are not plonked on the High Street, I am really not sure what to think. I know the High Street is definitely changing, do we embrace the change, or do we fight for what we know, love and enjoy? If we know we love and enjoy it, then we have to use our money not to 'Support' local businesses but to keep them there and to enjoy them. If you love a local retailer in your High Street, don't keep walking by the shop, thinking that you'll go in there one day. You have to change your habits and make buying things in there a part of your routine. I say that people get the High Street that they deserve, it's the consumer that has the final say in the changing face of market towns. If you shop mindlessly, then you will get an impersonal High Street full of chains.

The way I see it, Shepton Mallet has a wonderful High Street of quirky, independent shops, the Townsend Retail park is an altogether completely different experience, based more on the idea of convenience. The two concepts can live side by side and thrive. I like the idea that I can shop late if I need to at Tesco and pick up a last minute item, or a magazine, they do Sushi and no one else here does, that is very convenient. I've heard it said that when they first applied for planning permission, they said it would be a food only store, I'm not sure if this is the correct information but if no limitations are put on their trading what is the next thing they will do? They are expanding because their market is shrinking. Is their market shrinking because local businesses have closed because Tesco haven't really contributed enough to the regeneration of Shepton Mallet Town? Does that mean that the owners of the small businesses that have closed, can't employ anyone, so unemployment is higher, the town looks more desolate, people have less money, when one trader goes, then there's a knock on effect, for all the traders in town.Traders lose the cross promotion with other businesses and miss out on business from each other in a circular economy that makes sure the money is kept locally. The reason why communities are breaking down and High Streets across the UK look run down is because some landlords keep rents artificially high and because retail parks do NOT contribute to the community enough!

I've been told that there was a promise by Tesco when they first came that they would make sure that the town had maintained hanging baskets of flowers on the High Street, even if there wasn't a promise, why don't they sponsor something like that? The amazing Tesco staff collected over £800 to support Collett Park Festival 2014 but it was Tesco, the company that was asked if they would like to sponsor the festival, amazingly the company itself didn't come up with a bean! Tesco show a lot of support for the community but I'm not sure if it is support from their profits, or whether they profit from the support. Take for instance the Happy Landings Collection point in the store, you buy dog food, or toys, from Tesco and put it into their collection point! I can understand why people feel angry, 'Every Little helps' we just didn't think it meant, every little business and every little contribution from the public and from the staff, helps Tesco to create more profits, diverted away from the community to individuals! Tesco started from a market stall in East London, five years later the name Tesco was formed and the company grew and grew and grew. That entrepreneurial spirit is bound to be admired and respected by most small business owners but when it comes to ethics and morals, it does seem that things have got out of hand.

I feel if Timpson can contribute massively to the economy of the town they are in, if they offer a very basic shoe repair service and recommend the local cobbler for complicated repairs, if they pledge to help and support our town and really give something to the community then they will find their place. At this stage, I personally do not feel that I can support Tesco's application for these new services because of the devastating impact it will have on our Town. I believe that because of this negative impact, that the outlet will not succeed because the local economy will be driven down even further and again the market will shrink and again Tesco will choose to dominate another service and again they will cause the shrinkage in the economy and so on like a spiral, down and down. It is for this reason that I feel I have to oppose the planning application for this outlet.

Please join my Say No to Timpson at Tesco campaign, by clicking on the link below and signing the petition it brings up and sharing with your friends too. Thank you.
Say NO to Timpson at Tesco!

You can also log an objection to the planning application, directly to Mendip Council, using this link:
Application Objections






There was an error in this gadget