From The Murky Depths

Housing and Development in London

Abbey Wood, Belvedere, Bexleyheath, Lewisham, Thamesmead

What will an Asda and Sainsbury’s merger mean for SE London superstores?

With news emerging of advanced talks to merge Asda and Sainsbury’s it’s time for a speculative look at potential impacts across south east London.

Sainsbury’s have claimed that there will be no store closures. Well, they can say that but the Competition Commission will probably have something different to say.




When companies in the same sector merge stores in close proximity are often closed – either by force to simply to avoid cannibalising sales. Those within a mile are most vulnerable.

Sainsbury’s and Asda do target slightly different demographics – yet closures are still likely. So, with a leap into the realm of speculation, what stores could close?

Charlton

Charlton immediately springs to mind. The Asda building is pretty old for a big retail box. Sainsbury’s opened their own big box a short distance away.

It’ll also be interesting to note the impact of recently opened Aldi on Asda in Charlton. Latest supermarket sales data continue to show very strong growth at Lidl and Aldi at the expense of the big boys.

 

Would Morrisons be interested in an Asda store as they lack presence in the area?

If so, would a new supermarket be built, or if not then would a new block with housing be constructed? Greenwich Council belatedly changed planning designation from retail only in 2012 to mixed-use in 2015.

Abbey Wood and Belvedere



This is a longer shot though the Sainsbury’s by Abbey Wood station and Asda in Belvedere are only a five minute drive apart which falls in the “dispose of” area under Competition Commission rules.

Sainsbury’s only opened two years ago and has many thousands of new homes coming in the immediate area. Though tall buildings could replace the store given plans surrounding the existing site.

Belvedere is slightly older and directly beside Belvedere station. It’s such a large site that many hundreds of homes could be built – either alone or above another store. And being two minutes from Abbey Wood Elizabeth Line station means 15 minutes to Canary Wharf is possible.

Bexleyheath

There’s a large Asda at one end of the Broadway and a Sainsburys the other.

The Sainsbury’s has been somewhat hit by a Lidl opening nearby and there are plans for 500 homes just over the road. That application revealed plans to possibly build on the Sainsbury’s car park and pedestrianise part of the adjacent road. The store itself would probably be suitable for mid-rise buildings. Is the existing building and shop here for the long-term?

Lewisham

An Asda opened around two years ago below new housing at Loampit Vale.

Asda under construction – now complete

Sainsbury’s is in Lewisham Shopping Centre. Like others above in town centre locations these are least likely to close. The high level of footfall ensures two stores are viable – and crucially they are not that close.

Redevelopment potential is non-existent too – which is not the case with large retail boxes directly beside busy transport interchanges and railway station.

Of course it depends on land ownership, but Sainsbury’s have been moving towards rebuilding some London stores recently, including New Elms and New Cross where they plan to build 1,500 homes.

But anyway this is all speculation at the moment with a long way to go. Some redevelopment was probably anyway regardless of mergers.

What stores do you think are likely to close and/or be rebuilt? Leave a comment below.

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4 Comments

  1. anonymous201486

    Mike Coupe (Sainsbury’s chief) is in denial when he says there will be no store closures. Assuming that the Competition and Markets Authority approves the merger, it will want to see closures as part of the process.

    Asda Charlton may well be a candidate for closure given the shiny Sainsbury’s nearby. Morrison’s might be interested as the only branch I know is in far away Peckham. In Lewisham, however, Sainsbury’s has both the centre store and the ‘local’ near Glass Mills. The Asda is relatively new and I think there would be a fight on if this was earmarked for closure.

  2. fromthemurkydepths

    True. Sainsbury’s head honcho can say no closures but in reality they probably will be forced to – and pretty soon they’ll also realise they are cannibalising sales and can make £££ selling land.

  3. Ned

    Probably a good job the Asda at Lee Green hasn’t happened!

    I’m also interested in the back-office implications. What might the future hold for the huge Sainsbury’s depot in Anchor and Hope Lane if the logistics side is combined?

  4. Chris Nash

    Probably pie in the sky but the closure of Belvedere Asda (and relocation of the adjacent B&Q) would be the best thing to happen to Lower Belvedere for some time – assuming it’s replaced by housing with retail units on the lower floors (potentially with another supermarket there). There would be scope for other shops, more entrances to the station, and an actual appealing frontage for Lower Road rather than just a view onto a car park.

    The station area is missing a “town centre” feel. It’s not particularly welcoming and feels neglected, especially in comparison to Wilton Road less than a mile away. Obviously Crossrail is the benefactor there, but if Bexley Council are serious about wanting Crossrail to extend out to Belvedere and Erith then they have to make improvements here sooner rather than later.

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