A newsagent in Cambridge says her business is being “bled dry” by an adjoining Waitrose convenience store which is selling newspapers and magazines.
The 3,000sq ft Waitrose store, the first of its kind, opened in the unit next to Ish and Anita Rattan’s small Best One store in June (Convenience Store, June 25). The husband and wife duo, who say the were unaware of Waitroses’s intention to stock newspapers and magazines, have seen turnover slump by 50%, leaving them facing closure.
Ish and Anita, along with loyal customers, have organised a protest outside the Waitrose store. “News and mags are our lifeblood, and we are now being bled dry,” said Anita. “All we want is for Waitrose to agree to stop selling these products but they have not responded to any of our letters. Hopefully if we create enough noise today, Waitrose might listen to our concerns,” she added.
A petition has also been launched, and the signatures of almost concerned 200 local residents collected so far.
Local Councillor Colin Rosenstiel said he shared residents’ fears. “Waitrose is a useful new facility but we didn’t realise it was going to be stepping on the toes of a local trader quite so sharply,” he said.
Waitrose said it was “unable to comment on the agreement between the landlord and another tenant” but that it hoped to attract more people to the area for the benefit of all traders.