Sainsbury’s outside Llandeilo: Yes or No?

Carmarthenshire County Council is about to decide if Sainsbury’s can build a big new supermarket on the edge of Llandeilo. Here are 10 reasons why it’s a bad idea.

  1. The site is allocated for new employment, not for retailing.
  2. Supermarkets do not bring a net increase in jobs. New jobs are outweighed by job losses at existing retailers.
  3. Most jobs in supermarkets are low-paid.
  4. Supermarkets on the edge of town increase car use. This conflicts with the need to cut our use of fossil fuels due to climate change and depleting oil supplies.
  5. Supermarkets truck products into and out of distant central depots, adding to the problem of food miles.
  6. Supermarkets damage town centres because independent retailers lack the scale and power to compete against price promotions, and become less and less profitable, forcing them to downsize or close.
  7. The Sunday Times voted Llandeilo the coolest place to stay in the UK, because of its history, character and independent businesses. Tourism would be damaged by a depressed town centre.  
  8. Ghost town centres are in no one’s interest. Ghost town centres damage the quality of life of residents and visitors alike.
  9. The site is low-lying but currently not hard-surfaced and so it helps to mop up rainfall.  Hard surfacing for a large store and car park would push water downstream towards Llandeilo and Ffairfach.
  10. Expected sales from Sainsbury’s would be £26.1 million at 2009 prices, at least £27.1 million now. Existing retailers would lose an equivalent amount, a devastating blow to the health of the fragile local economy.
  • Face the Difference: the Impact of Low Pay in National Supermarket Chains. Fair Pay Network, January 2012, www.fairpaynetwork.org
  • The Portas Review: an Independent Review into the Future of our High Streets. Department for Business Innovation and Skills, December 2011, www.bis.gov.uk
  • What’s Wrong with Supermarkets? Corporate Watch, April 2004,  www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=2596
  • 20 Cool Places to Stay, The Sunday Times, August 21st 2012
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