Owners of small firms in Portsmouth insist Tesco is not hurting business

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Independent retailers say the newly-opened Fratton Park Tesco in Portsmouth is not having a negative effect on business.

The new Tesco store opened last month, creating around 350 jobs.

Helen Webb, 69, owner of the A Webb and Son florist on Kingston Road, Fratton, said: ‘We do a lot of flower work for funerals and Tesco just can’t offer that.

‘If you buy flowers from here, you get personal service. I don’t think the new Tesco will affect our business.’

More than 4,000 people signed petitions opposing the new store’s development amidst fears of traffic congestion and independent retailers losing trade.

Dave Baker, 42, owner of Ink Store on Fratton Road which deals primarily in printer cartridges, believed the superstore may even boost his business.

‘The Asda here (in the nearby Bridge Shopping Centre) already brings a lot of people to the area. If people weren’t using Asda, they may not use us at all,’ he said.

‘I don’t know how many people will switch from Asda to Tesco for shopping, but they could drop in and replace cartridges on the way.’

John Pugh, 48, who co-runs Heritage Butchers in The Bridge Shopping Centre, Fratton, with his wife Margaret, said: ‘There’s a sense of customer loyalty that comes with shopping at a butchers. I don’t think Tesco will change that.’