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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 February 2008, 00:18 GMT
Traders fear third Tesco's impact
Tesco trolley
Tesco is carrying out preparatory works for the third store
Retailers in south west Scotland have voiced fears for the financial future over plans by supermarket firm Tesco to open a third store in one town.

The company already has a large store in Dumfries and approval to build a smaller one at nearby Heathhall.

It has confirmed it is in talks with the council to build another store next to the Peel Centre shopping complex.

The local retailers association said it meant Tesco would take about 60% of all money being spent in the town.

The supermarket firm used to occupy one smaller site in the town's Lochside estate.

We have identified a need for further investment in Dumfries and that has led us to this development
Tesco spokesman

However, it subsequently moved to a larger 24-hour store at Cuckoo Bridge on the outskirts of Dumfries.

Last year Tesco got planning permission to build a smaller outlet at Heathhall.

Now it is in talks with Dumfries and Galloway Council about building at a Lockerbie Road site, which was first given planning permission 13 years ago.

The Chairman of Dumfries Retailers Association, Rab Smith, said the development would put further financial pressure on small businesses.

"We see business as simple arithmetic," he said.

Housing development

"There is about 2.5m spent in retail in Dumfries every week.

"The original Tesco took about 350,000 and that was liveable but the new Tesco store is taking nearly 1m of that."

He said he believed that if the number of supermarkets rose to three then about 1.5m of weekly spending would go to Tesco.

Heathhall filling station
Plans to build a Tesco store at Heathhall have been approved

A spokesman for the supermarket company confirmed that it was undertaking "enabling" works on the Lockerbie Road site at present.

He added that due to the amount of peat at the location it was difficult to set a firm timescale for the plans.

The spokesman added: "We are very keen to develop the site - I don't think it has ever gone away from the agenda.

"We have identified a need for further investment in Dumfries and that has led us to this development."

The new supermarket would be about half the size of the Cuckoo Bridge store and create about 200 jobs.

It is situated beside the largest housing development currently being undertaken in Dumfries.

The Tesco spokesman declined to comment on the impact it would have on trade in the town centre.



SEE ALSO
Second Tesco store gets go-ahead
16 Aug 07 |  South of Scotland
Town's second Tesco store refused
18 Apr 07 |  South of Scotland

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