COUNCILLORS are backing a campaign urging Tesco to consider rebranding the Leamington Parade branch a ‘superstore’ after its recent change to ‘express’ status.
Residents have been campaigning tirelessly against the rebrand to an ‘express’ which they claim has driven up prices by some 15 per cent.
Tesco argued the change reflected convenience store pricing, claiming customers shopped there on an ‘as and when’ basis.
But campaigners say shoppers relied on its central location to make regular visits throughout the week – particularly older people and those who do not own a car.
And campaigners won cross-party support when they put the case to councillors during a recent Warwick District Council meeting.
The council is now writing to Tesco managing director Kevin Tindall expressing residents’ and councillors’ concerns.
Lead campaigner Peter Glanfield said: “The shop is used by local residents many of who are old or vulnerable and who visit it very regularly on foot or using a bus. There are bus stops immediately outside the store entrance. The shopping habits of most pensioners are largely determined by the weight of the items they can carry home – and the cash they have available on the day.
“This is definitely not ‘convenience shopping’. They do their ‘main food shopping’ by visiting the store regularly throughout the week.”
Following some three months of protesting, the group is are now asking Tesco bosses – who have rebranded nearly 150 Metro stores across the country to either Express or Superstores – to change it to the latter instead.
They believe this would mean prices would fall in line with the current superstore on Emscote Road in Warwick, they say is now cheaper to shop at.
Peter added: “Small convenience stores do usually charge a bit more – they might be privately owned or be part of a large chain. However by no stretch of anyone’s imagination is the huge Tesco in the Parade a small convenience store.
“The people who walk or bus to the store have been targeted and hit with huge price rises. Most of them cannot shop elsewhere. They are angry.
“The petition is demanding that the shop is re-designated as a ‘superstore’ which will mean that the prices will immediately revert to the same as those at the out-of-town Emscote Road Tesco.”