LETTER: Chains thrive, others strive

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So, another fresh food outlet at the ironically named Enterprise Centre bites the dust, this time the greengrocer.

In the 18 months since we moved to Eastbourne, this is the third similar casualty at the centre.

The fresh fish shop closed a few weeks ago, having seen two retailers fail to make a commercial success of it. All that’s left in the fresh food sector is the first class butcher’s unit run by the Dean family.

Near us, in Meads, the excellent butcher’s shop there closed, too, a few months ago, it also having seen two managers toiling to make the business work.

The spectre at what remains of the feast is, of course, supermarkets; there are two in Meads Street alone. They thrive, the small shops strive.

The borough council might consider removing its head from the very dark place it appears to be stuck, and spend less effort and money pandering to the cycling lobby, meanwhile daubing the town with eccentric white paint markings in order to facilitate two-wheelers’ long and healthy lives.

A healthy life also benefits from local shops: fresh food – and not ready meals filled with a plethora of dodgy ingredients that are sold in the supermarkets.

As we await work to begin on a new Sainsbury’s store in Albert Parade – a move cynically approved by the council despite huge and often plaintive local objections – I wonder how many of the first-rate small outlets there will still be trading a year after the giant opens its yawning jaws.

Bill MacFarlane

Bolsover Road