Ipswich: Tenth Tesco on the way to town as convenience truth hits home

Former Croydons building that may become a Tesco store. Former Croydons building that may become a Tesco store.

Thursday, June 19, 2014
4:23 PM

A generation ago there were fears that there would be nowhere left to buy food in the centre of Ipswich.

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Co-op ready for new competition

While the major supermarket chains have discovered a new taste for smaller, convenience stores, the East of England Co-op which has neighbourhood stores across the area is continuing to trade well.

Roger Grosvenor, executive officer of the East of England Co-op, said: “Our competitors have realised the success of our convenience model and are looking to imitate it, and many national and multi-national retailers have become open and vocal about their plans to increase their convenience offer.

“Although the news of Tesco’s recent move into Ipswich is no surprise, we believe at the East of England Co-op we do things differently and lead the way.”

He said Co-ops were able to carry a broad range of products, the stores had a strong emphasis on locally-sourced produce, and the fact the business was owned by its members ensured any profits remained in the local communities it served.

However there have been changes in its offer recently – a very small Co-op store in Norwich Road was converted into a funeral office after a new Tesco Express opened nearby at Christmas.

Now with the news that Tesco is preparing to open a new convenience store on the site of the former Croydons in Tavern Street, Ipswich, the town will be awash with food stores.

It will be the 10th Tesco to open with greater Ipswich – alongside four Sainsbury’s, two Morrisons, two Icelands, two Waitrose, two Marks and Spencers, two Aldis, two Lidls, and a number of Co-op neighbourhood stores.

Within walking distance of the town centre there will be three Tescos, a Sainsbury’s, a Morrisons, a Waitrose, two Icelands and a Marks and Spencer.

Yesterday’s story revealing Tesco’s proposal for the former Croydons store prompted a huge reaction with hundreds of readers taking part in our online poll.

Those opposed to Tesco outnumbered those supporting the proposal by two to one – but the company is hoping to get the store open by the winter, hopefully in time for Christmas.

The site already has planning permission to operate as a shop, but Tesco will need permission for changes to the front with new signs and to alter the inside of the store – but that is not expected to be a major obstacle.

A spokesman for the company said: “We are looking to open an Express store on Tavern Street. We think our store would be popular with customers as it would offer a wide range of products in a convenient location and create around 20 jobs for local people.

“Subject to all the normal planning consents we hope to open the store in the winter. We will keep the local community updated as our plans progress”.

Back in the late 1980s there were real fears that the town centre would become a food desert after Tesco shut its St Matthew’s store after opening at Copdock Mill.

Sainsbury’s in Upper Brook Street only stayed open after the borough made that a condition of giving permission for the construction of the Hadleigh Road site – by the time that condition lapsed in the mid-1990s the town centre store was busier than ever and has since been totally refurbished.

29 comments

  • Why do we need ANOTHER Tescos-we have a perfectly good Sainsburys and Iceland .Croydons is a listed building and will look hideous with the Tescos sign attached.

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    annie

    Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • @Ips Ent - as usual you have to resort to being nasty and unpleasant rather than having a serious debate. I still don't see what Tesco's tax or business affairs have to do with IBC? They're not the tax man. They are merely being asked to approve an alcohol licence which is the only say so they have in the matter of Tesco taking over this store.

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    Scott Brock

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Scott Brock I thought it wouldn't be long before you reared your ugly head. Sure your A-Level will come in handy. Unless you work at the council and can provide evidence to the contrary, everything I said has been correct. Yes, there were proposed section 106 contributions which is common place had the development went ahead, but Tesco (or more so their subsidiary) had made payments in advance - and these weren't solely the application fees. ***** Disbeliever, Tesco saves tens of millions of pounds each year in tax through complex taxation structures. These include selling off their stores to an overseas company they set up to lease back, the infamous moving online sales HQ to Switzerland (previously Jersey) to avoid having to charge VAT and depositing money to loan out to stores to transfer profit through interest payments. Tesco does actually invest quite a bit of money in other businesses such as coffee shops and retail whilst staying relatively transparent as to their ownership. **** Companies such as Tesco destroys SMEs... their purchasing power gets them much cheaper prices than small shops can get at wholesale. As Tesco struggle to retain their UK operations profitability and dominance I can assure you they will be experimenting more in alternative brands you don't think are Tesco but are owned by Tesco. No doubt this will be a budget supermarket-style venture.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Hello Tesco !! - we would like just ONE large store in Felixstowe, please stop building them in Ipswich !

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    john

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Yea good old Tesco, squeezing the farmer, cancelling contracts after agreeing to take all the stock unless the farmer drops his price losing money. At least the coop for all their faults have some ethics. Tesco good old British company to be proud of NOT.

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    C Smith

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • It seems to be a modern trend to criticise anything Tesco, despite it being the biggest UK Retailer, a totally British Company paying UK tax and one of the UK's largest employers. They are now utilising a building that would probably have become another dossers paradise otherwise so as far as I'm concerned, good for them and I shall certainly use it when in the area!

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    Disbeliever

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • @Paul Geater - love it!

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    Scott Brock

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Great, another shop to not to bother going into town for...

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    Jan

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Just remember this "beautiful listed building" dates from 1938 - pure mock Tudorbethan. Oh, and by the way, it isn't listed!

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    Paul Geater

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • What like Lakeland Plastics in the Ancient House. Waitrose in the Corn Exchange and that shanty town of a market.

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    m01

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • I was horrified to hear that Tesco is taking over Croydons, such a beautiful listed building, deserves to have more superior occupants! Shame on Ipswich Council for allowing this to happen.

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    Morello

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Everyone harping on about the legacy of the building and keeping in tune with it, well surely its better that is is used and maintained as opposed to sat there decaying away, with no one taking responsibility? Also, just goes to show that a flagship store in the heart of the town centre has been empty for so long and only Tesco go in tells us all about the state of the town center. It's never going to attract the sort of shops that other towns do, and that's the bigger question to answer as to why?

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    Tedbundy

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • still tescos will look a bit upmarket to takeaways..hairdressers.tattoos shops.p.s forgot car washes

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    Big Ben

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • @Ips Ent - Tesco never paid IBC a penny other than the standard planning fees. All large developments contain allowances for road, infrastructure and public realm improvements whether Tesco or not. As for speculating this is some kind of payback - how exactly? Tesco could move into the shop tomorrow without a word from IBC as they don't have to apply for a change of use. As for 'destroying' the building, well if it is listed then they'd get in a lot of trouble. Any changes they make or branding they add will have to be in keeping with the rules of the listing, as defined by the government and not by IBC. Would you be saying the same if waitrose had proposed to use the store? doubt it.

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    Scott Brock

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Look on the bright side the street drinkers will have somewhere to but cheap drink late into the night no wonder this town is so rubbish tower street awash with them

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    Town watch

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • This is local Government corruption right there... Tesco paid for road improvements as a condition of their proposed Grafton Way store - a sweetener if you like... we will know it as a bribe - there were further costs later post-construction but it never got to that stage. So now, this lovely listed building is going to be wrecked. The Tesco Express professional retail frontage will NOT fit well around the traditional design of the building. It will go ahead anyway as the council would not want to reimburse Tesco for their earlier investment (BRIBE!) I will certainly be sticking in an objection to this store and others should too.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Poppy is right. The fact that the co-op could not compete with Tesco shows how poor they are. The Co-op is the only shop near us, they are expensive and I have counted as many as 15 people waiting with 1 cashier who then left the till to sort out an Amazon return parcel. The Co-op has had it's day, no one complained whey they were a monopoly.

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    m01

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • So Co-op's in Norwich rd , Merdith Rd , Fircroft Rd , Dale Hall lane or is it Dales road , two in foxhall road , woodbridge road , woodbridge road east , selkirk road , penshurst road , queens way , clapgate lane , ellenbrook green , hawthorn drive etc is ok but Tesco have 10 and its a problem ? Pathetic anti Tesco tripe s normal . They will create and well stocked shop in keeping with the listed status of the Croydons building and all the anti will not stop thousands of people using the store every week . Why not competition for Sainsburys ?

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    Poppys Dad

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • At least it is better then seeing the tramps hang out there! plus it will bring in jobs but I dread to see the lorries delivering goods will go.

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    kev70

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • I really want to be angry about this. The truth is though, the only thing I care about is that they respect the heritage of the building ( to tacky plastic signage thank you). I DO shop in the town, but think that these 'express' stores offer very poor value for money, stock a poor range of goods with often only the premium or branded product available. I won't use the store, and, if others do the same, it wont last too long. If the town is to have more food shops, it needs a decent sized M&S food hall or a much bigger Waitrose, both of whom, although offer premium products but a shopping environment that doesnt feel like a garage forecourt shop!

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    Sentinel Red

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • @C Smith - Tesco superstores aka the big ones. The only ones in Ipswich Borough are the express ones. If it is a listed building then any modifications they need to make they will have to apply for, but Waitrose managed it with the Corn Exchange didn't they? Any changes would have to be in character but it's still aproved for use as shop and Tesco is a shop. Do i like Tesco? no! can't stand them. But can IBC do anything about it? very little. This notion they are in each other's pockets it just nonsense. They're just a business and at least they are a British owned business.

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    Scott Brock

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Tesco have nothing special like Morrison's and Asda so they have to be everywhere even though no one wants them

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    rescue125

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Well doesn't that make a change, yet another Tesco!!! How much under handed money is exchanged or improvements made elsewhere in the town, so that Tesco can do just about anything it wants. Ipswich town centre is a joke, unless you want something for a pound or under or a mobile phone. No wonder more and more people are shopping online.

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    J C

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • @Scott Brock - "It's also worth noting that there are no Tesco superstores in the borough of Ipswich" - so what is considered the borough of Ipswich? Just wondering as there is a tesco on st matthews street, duke street, nacton road... Not that it makes any difference to the final outcome but I am against this store. I thought that the Croydons builds (along with Grimwades) had restirctions on them as well as the fact they're listed. Tesco can't put a store in there without some major modifications which would surely be against the listed-ness of the building.

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    Chris Church

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Why does Asda never do this? They're shops are cleaner and the products are cheaper.

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    TrollFace

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • @C Smith - What nonsense, they can't refuse Tesco application on the grounds "they don't like them" they'd get sued. They also can't turn down their applications whilst accepting applications for Waitrose because it's a bit posher! It's also worth noting that there are no Tesco superstores in the borough of Ipswich and thus the ones that are in greater ipswich were approved by other councils without the say so of IBC! Theres little they can do to stop this even if they wanted, all they can do is turn down the alcohol licence but seeing as Waitrose has one it sets a precedent that would be hard for them to justify why they were turning it down. At the end of the day is it better this building is used for something than left to rot? Modern fashion retailers don't want to use it, it's not what they looking for, so if it takes Tesco to bring it to life that's the way it is. Most high streets now have a Tesco on them anyway, from Birmingham to Manchester to London, they all have a Tesco it's the way it is.

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    Scott Brock

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Whilst I have no issue with Tesco having a shop at this site. I am concerned as this is a listed building. The structure and street vie should remain unchanged. If I want to paint my house a different colour or change the windows I will need consent. If I break the rules 4 times English heritage could seize my house! But I see to often changes to building I know are listed with signs and fixtures not in keeping with building occupied by large corporations who have the money to do what they want ! I hope this won't be the case and this building is kept in keeping with its history and location!!!

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    Alpina B10

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Have you not yet gathered our council have no interest in the "majority" opinion only allowing Tesco's mass takeover of our town. The best looking shop in the whole town centre will now be yet another tacky tesco.

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    C Smith

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Let's be clear on this: the Council has no power to stop Tesco coming, as no change of use is involved. But it can make stipulations about the sale of alcohol. And - I think - a planning application will have to made regarding the frontage and layout of the shop, so they will have some power there.

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    Baptist Trainfan

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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