Worthing’s reputation as ‘Tesco town’ has continued with its ninth store in the area completing its first month’s trading
Despite bringing 20 jobs, the arrival of the Express outlet at Goring Road, Goring-by-Sea (pictured right), has been greeted with considerable concern by protesters.
Fears have been widely expressed over the store’s potential effect on surrounding businesses, as neighbouring independent retailers battle the prolonged economic downturn.
Last March, Worthing Solidarity Network staged a demonstration outside the site of the store, a former Caffyns motors dealership, which brought into sharp focus the issue of how any one retailer could be allowed to open so many sites in a town.
Protester John Hughes, a retired systems engineer, voiced his dismay during the demonstration.
He said: “I am very concerned about the way our planning system is allowing multi-nationals like Tesco to take over our town, squeezing out small shops thus creating so many empty premises.”
Within Worthing town centre there are believed to be just under 100 vacant business premises within some areas.
These includes the far end of Montague Street, which has suffered particularly badly with store closures.
However, Tesco’s new Goring manager, John Killip, revealed he had worked hard to recruit locally for its vacancies and said the store was a welcome addition to the high street.
He said: “I was thrilled by the huge response we received to our recruitment drive.
“In this time of economic uncertainty, it is great that we are able to create jobs for our local community and help get people back into work.
“I am really pleased with my new team and I’m looking forward to working with them.
“We are delighted to be opening a Tesco Express store on Goring Road and look forward to playing an active role in the local community.”