Another new Tesco store is to open its doors to the shoppers of Northern Ireland today. This time it is Newry that will have the dubious honour of being the recipient of Tesco floor space. I don't think that there were food shortages in Newry. I hadn't heard that people were having to queue for food. Despite there being no practical need for what the BBC describe as a sixty three thousand square feet out of town store Tesco have been permitted to take another step on their march to domination of the UK food retail market.
Tesco says that it will be employing some three hundred workers at the store, (full time and part time) and contributing £600,000 in rates. I don't doubt these figures, but rather conveniently Philip Clarke's minions don't give the nett figures. They don't tell the public how many small and medium sized businesses within the catchment area of this new store will close down over the next two or three years as a consequence of Tesco's presence. They don't highlight to the planners the number of people who will loose their jobs because of this new store. They don't remind us all of the percentage and amount of their profit that will not benefit the local economy.
It is with sorrow that we see the passing of the local high street. Perhaps its body will be cremated and the ashes put in an urn which will have pride of place in the Tesco boardroom. Unlike Ivo Bligh the high street doesn't have successors to prise those ashes back,