Plans by supermarket giant Tesco to open an Express store in the centre of Rothesay appear to have been thrown into doubt by an official statement from the company.
The firm announced on Thursday that it intended to shut 43 unprofitable stores across the UK - more than half of them Tesco Express outlets - and to scrap plans for 49 new ‘very large’ stores, following two years of falling sales and profit warnings.
No detailed list was published of the locations affected, but in view of Tesco’s statement last summer that it would be opening up in Guildford Square - and the pledge last month by local builder George Hanson that the company was “one hundred per cent” coming to Bute, and that its store in his new building in the square would open in March - we sought clarification from the company of its intentions.
We asked Tesco to confirm (a) whether its Rothesay store would still be going ahead, and (b) if so, whether it would still be opening in March.
The reply of a Tesco spokesman, in full, was this: “Currently we cannot confirm the opening date of the Tesco Express in Rothesay, however, we will ensure we keep the local community up-to-date on our plans and any related dates as soon as we have these.”
* What do you make of Tesco’s response? Do you still expect to see the company open up in Rothesay - and if not, what will the implications be for jobs and the economy on Bute? Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thebuteman) and at @the_buteman on Twitter.