Commercial Property Chain Tesco to Open New Superstore in Cheshire Despite Financial Problems

Posted on 11 December, 2011 by Kirsten Kennedy

Commercial property giants Tesco are currently building a new superstore in Crewe, Cheshire. The store, found at the location of the original Crewe Tesco Extra, is expected to open in either February or March next year, depending on how quickly essential building safety checks and alterations can be made.

The previous Tesco Extra was deemed by the conglomerate to be “too small to satisfy the volume of customers we have shopping with us every day” and so plans were revealed earlier this year to demolish it and replace it with a significantly larger store. However, due to competition from other commercial retail properties such as Morrisons and Sainsbury’s in close proximity to the city, executives took the decision to open an interim store to ensure minimal loss of custom while the new store was being constructed. As such, the original Tesco Extra closed at 4pm on Sunday May 15th, with the temporary superstore on Lockitt Street opening the next day at 8am. Construction of the new store also began on the Monday.

All movable fixtures and fittings will be relocated to other stores in the surrounding area.

Store Manager of the Tesco Extra, Andrew Schofield, said “Our main priority during this time is to ensure disruption to customers is kept to a minimum, which is why we are opening the temporary store.”

“My team and I would like to thank our customers in advance for their patience whilst we build them a bigger and better store. We look forward to the opening of the new Tesco Extra store next year and hope that our customers and local residents will be pleased with the new services and ranges it will offer,” Mr Schofield added.

Tesco guaranteed all staff from the original Tesco Extra would have interim jobs in the Lockitt Street store and they would have the opportunity to resume their positions at the new Tesco Extra store when it opens. They will also be recruiting from the local community to staff excess positions to ensure maximum customer satisfaction in the larger store.

However, Tesco may be falling into financial difficulties, according to Kantar Worldpanel. The chain has seen UK sales figures drop for the fourth consecutive quarter despite implementing cost-cutting ideas such as the £500 million ‘Big Price Drop’ to attract more customers to it’s stores. Tesco have recently experienced a significant slow down in sales in Asia, which may also be contributing to falling shares prices.

Despite the current sales figures, Chief Executive Philip Clarke claims he was pleased with the initial response to the ‘Big Price Drop’, saying it was a “promising” performance. He also said Tesco was suffering more than rivals because the chain sells more discretionary non-food goods, which customers had been cutting down on due to the recent economic difficulties faced by households all over the country.

Yet, he points out that it is not all terrible news for the company, as food and grocery volumes had rose by nearly one percent over the three month period. He said “We created deflation in our food and grocery categories but we’ve got volume improvement.”

With new commercial properties opening early next year in locations such as Crewe, Springbourne and Northampton, share holders and company directors alike must hope that Tesco has a happier new year than 2011, and resolve to find new ways to draw custom back to their stores.

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