Closure could be an opportunity

First published in Letters

I NOTE with interest some concern over the possible closure of Tesco in Chantry Way.

I do share in the anxiety of employees.

However, articles seem to be written from the consumers’ point of view.

I would point out that Andover Town Centre has Waitrose and Lidl within easy access as alternatives, also Sainsbury’s in Bridge Street and Marks and Spencer.

I think the closure should be seen as an exciting opportunity, rather than a problem.

When Tesco depart the store should be split up into several smaller units.

What works in Andover? Units could comprise: more charity shops, a gents’ hairdresser, a nail-bar, yet another coffee or burger joint and a betting shop.

From the above I would hope ex Tesco employees could gain employment and Andover shoppers would have more of what is successful in the town centre.

Frustrated supermarket shoppers could venture to out of town Sainsbury’s, Asda or Tesco – conveniently sited on the same roundabout.

More adventurous consumers could be aided if Test Valley Borough Council directed visitors/shoppers to the beautiful cathedral cities of Salisbury and Winchester, the much improved Newbury or even Southampton, which boasts shopping centres and department stores.

Such changes, if carried out sympathetically, could also relieve any perceived parking problem.

I hope these ideas are of some help to local planners. They have been germinating for some time and today I felt compelled to put pen to paper (tongue in cheek).

Michael Mitchell, Exbury Way, Andover

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