SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s is opening a convenience store in Albert Road – just metres away from a Tesco Metro.
It will be Sainsbury’s 500th Local store when it opens to shoppers on Wednesday and its chief executive Justin King is set to be at the launch.
But it will be vying for high street dominance with Tesco nearby and a Co-op food store just yards down the road.
Some residents raised concerns to Portsmouth City Council over the new store during the planning process, including the potential effects of selling alcohol to customers from the proposed licensing period of 6am until midnight.
The store has been built by firm Williams Southern Ltd which, in partnership with Sainsbury’s, will donate £1,000 of toys to Devonshire Infant School in Francis Avenue, Southsea, as part of their community spirit initiative.
Jenni Catlow, chairman of the Albert Road Traders’ Association, said the new Sainsbury’s could boost the high street.
She said: ‘It will be bringing more to the road.
‘I know people in the shops are quite looking forward to them coming and I am positive about it.
‘If it gives more vibrancy to that end of the road it’s good. My only worry is parking and hopefully customers will walk to it, as they do with Tesco and Co-op.
‘I’m sure there will be an infusion of people coming to visit it when it first opens.’
Cllr Phil Smith, who represents the Southsea Central ward on the city council, added: ‘I don’t think it will be detrimental to Albert Road.
‘Sainsbury’s is a reputable store.
‘ If it causes any problems in terms of licensing then there are standard comebacks on that.
‘People can and should complain to the police and I will make sure they have proxy sale signs in the window area.
‘What is a problem is selling alcohol to those who have drunk too much and staff should have training on how to avoid that.
‘I think it’s positive for Albert Road. It will draw some people to it and perhaps there’s people that may like Sainsbury’s.
‘It will bring extra employment and if it pushes Tesco into a bit of a price war with them it can only be a good thing for consumers.’