Letter: Superstores keep shoppers happy

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The Independent Online
Sir: I take strong exception to Stephen Plowden's assertion that the growth of superstores in Britain has been a disaster (letter, 23 June). Superstores provide a range and variety of products at prices their competitors cannot match. The superstores have responded to the basic needs of a car- borne society, which is a one-stop shop (with kids in tow) for the family groceries. They should be congratulated, not castigated.

The large grocery retailers have invested heavily: in the latest technologies (bar coding, computerised stock control); in creating pleasant surroundings for their customers; and in developing innovative product lines (notably, convenience meals). They took the risk of moving their product up-market and it paid off handsomely. They are a shining example to the rest of British industry.

These are not just the opinions of a happy shopper. They are the conclusions of a serious economic analysis of retailing recently published by London Economics. It is time to stop bashing the superstores.

Yours sincerely,

Bill Robinson

London Economics

London, W1

23 June