Sunday, January 27, 2013

Say hello to your new Waitrose

No opening date set as yet, but the new Waitrose on the other side of the Creek is taking shape, and is expected to open 'some time in the summer'. It's the ground floor of the building on the south side of Greenwich Reach (or New Capital Quay or whatever its latest name is) - you can see it as you cross the Creek on the Creek Road lifting bridge.

At a reported 31,000sqft it will easily be the largest supermarket in Greenwich itself, much bigger than the 'local' versions of the other supermarkets, but only about two thirds the size of the Sainsbury's on Greenwich peninsula.

Personally I'm quite ambivalent about having a Waitrose nearby - I may well make the occasional trip for a few bottles of decent ale (still pretty much impossible to buy in Deptford) but I'll still be doing most of my shopping in Deptford High Street, which for me is still most convenient, fun and cheapest.

I'm not really bothered about what effect the Waitrose will have on the other supermarkets in the area, however I suspect the arrival of this new supermarket is likely to impact on some of the local, independent shops in quite a devastating way. Businesses such as Deli X on Deptford High Street, or Greenlands Health Food shop in Greenwich could be hit badly, until now having had little competition and being able to survive in their respective niches.

Let's hope with some canny business nous they can find a way to survive - I'm sure if Deli X had their daily specials menu on a board outside, for example, they might get more custom for the cafe which is tucked away at the back. Greenlands is an absolute gem, in my opinion - the range of different products they stock makes them rather like a mini Waitrose for groceries, and they do have the best humus known to man. I'll still be going there for the odds and sods I normally make the trip for, and will be keeping my fingers crossed they can find a way to survive.

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