For those with long(ish) memories, Sydenham had a branch of Somerfield on the site now occupied by Lidl. With the sale of Safeways, first to Morrisons and subsequently to Somerfields, things have come full circle and this supermarket will have a presence on the high street once again.
Many will remember Somerfield as a rather downbeat store, an impression reinforced by the company’s purchase of the old KwikSave chain not so long ago. But times have changed, and Somerfield is busy reinventing itself with new formats and an emphasis on fresh food. The re-vamp of its Lordship Lane shop into a ‘Market Fresh’ store shows the way the company is going, with attractively laid-out interiors with a tempting array of produce.
With regeneration of the high street in mind, the Sydenham Society has written to the Somerfield management stating that SE26 is a prime location for a refurbished Market Fresh-style store. We have stressed that the high street benefits from the services of a town centre manager and has a flourishing traders organisation; that Sydenham has a range of good quality housing stock with a mix of families and young professionals; that the area has attractive parks and green spaces; and that, in the longer term, the arrival of the East London Line will help revitalise the area.
Long term might be market fresh
In the short term, Somerfield are planning a quick refurbishment in early February – the store will be shut and the new range of goods installed. Longer term they have told us that a final decision about its format will depend on their own retail analysis of shopping patterns in the area. In the meantime, you can make your views known on what kind of store you would like to see by writing to Somerfield, details below, or you can visit their website and fill in the customer feedback form. You can also join in the debate on Safeway/Somerfield by going to the forum on the Sydenham Town website.
It’s up to us
The more interest Sydenham shows in Somerfield the better. Remember, their retail analysts are watching us!
You can visit the Somerfield website, or contact them by post:
Somerfield Stores Ltd
Bristol BS14 0TJ
New Year 2005