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