BUSINESS owners and residents of a Lake District town have voiced mixed opinion over the opening of a new convenience store.
Supermarket chain Morrisons opened its new ‘M local’ in Windermere on Monday, creating 20 permanent jobs in the town.
The shop, which stocks over 100 lines of fresh fruit and vegetables and includes a hot ‘Food to Go’ section, is located on the former Style Trading outlet on Main Road.
Some have welcomed the move and say it gives people more choice about where they want to do their shopping.
Writing on The Westmorland Gazette website, fromtheheap said: “Morrisons is a breath of fresh air in Windermere. It’s about time the real world came to our doorstep instead of inflated tourist prices.
Shirley Johnston added: “I’m very happy for the people of Windermere. They will find their shopping bills are about half what they are now and there will be more choice.”
Readers also praised the firm for creating extra jobs.
But the new arrival has not pleased everyone, with many concerned about the effects on the town’s independent food outlets which they claim already provide what Morrisons offers.
Online, zaney5 said: “I think it’s a shame that a company such as Morrisons can basically come along and ride roughshod over those people that are struggling to make a living.”
Lakesgirl81 added: “I wouldn’t even consider buying meat from Morrisons, when Huddlestons butchers already offer fantastic local meats and homemade pies.”
Owner of Huddlestons Butchers, John Nicholl, said he was worried about the potential impact on his business.
“It will take a percentage of our trade away without a doubt. The town works in harmony with itself at the moment, and this store will rock the applecart. We do not need another supermarket,” he said.
He added that it was very nice to hear people say they would continue to support him.
In response to the feedback, store manager Ben Shrewsbery said: “Our convenience stores aim to be different and offer products that complement what is available in other shops.
“Our M local gives people the chance to cook from scratch or find a ready meal even when they’re shopping late at night.
“We want to reassure residents that we are keen to contribute to the local community. We find that our stores help to increase town centre footfall and as such have a positive impact on trade in the town.”