Expansion to Sainsbury's Warren Heath

SUPERMARKETS close to Ipswich are today locked in a new store wars battle - fighting over millions of pounds in customers' wallets.Sainsbury's at Warren Heath is set to embark on a new expansion project, just a year after Tesco at Martlesham Heath did the same.

SUPERMARKETS close to Ipswich are today locked in a new store wars battle - fighting over millions of pounds in customers' wallets.

Sainsbury's at Warren Heath is set to embark on a new expansion project, just a year after Tesco at Martlesham Heath did the same.

The Sainsbury scheme will add around 30 per cent extra floor space, allowing it to increase its range of goods, though it insists it will still be predominantly a grocery store.

Bosses say the extra space will mean they can create a new entrance, better lay-out with wider aisles, slightly larger restaurant, and an area where customers' children can be taught English and maths while their mums and dads shop.


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There will also be a number of new jobs created, though the company is unsure how many yet.

But the expansion is expected to claw back some of the business which has been lost to Tesco since the Martlesham store extended its goods to including clothing, home entertainment, electrical, kitchen and baby accessories.

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Tesco reckoned its expansion would increase turnover by £20 million a year, while Sainsbury estimates its 21,000 sq ft extension will bring in £4.32m more a year - with £2 million of that from Tesco customers which it believes have left Sainsbury in the past 12 months and will now return.

Next year Asda are set to build a store off Landseer Road.

Senior Suffolk Coastal planning officer Bob Chamberlain said: “It is expected that the extension of Sainsbury will have a significant impact on Tesco at Martlesham.

“But these are big companies which always will have an influence on each other's activities in the market place.

“We do not believe the there will be an impact on centres elsewhere - Ipswich town centre is a very robust economy - because the Warren Heath park is a very sustainable area.

“The scheme will add to the retail choice in the area and be beneficial in the long term.”

Sub committee chairman Ivan Jowers hoped the new extension would mean more check-out staff. “There were 14 check-outs unmanned yesterday,” he said.

What do you think of the proposals to expand Sainsbury's? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINKS: www.jsainsburys.co.uk

www.tesco.com

ONE of the major benefits of the expansion will be an improved lay-out to the car park and a small increase in spaces, plus a new route in and out of the site for delivery lorries.

At present, trucks enter via the roundabout near the petrol station and go behind Homebase, along a fence at the bottom of Woodrush Road residents' gardens to the rear of the supermarket.

In future, they will enter off a new entrance on Felixstowe Road, near a footpath, onto a new road directly at the rear of the store. However, as it will be a left-turn entry and exit only, they will have to travel to St Augustine's roundabout and back to reach the new entrance.

Mr Chamberlain said there was some concern over this arrangement but the roundabout was on a primary route and suitable for HGV movements.

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