DISCOUNT supermarket Netto have been revealed as the firm set to open a new store at Lymm – after months of secrecy over the project.
The Danish company, which first came to the UK in 1990, establishing 193 stores, but sold out to Asda in 2010 for £778 million, is to take the new store to be built on the site of the former Rushgreen Service Station, in Rushgreen Road.
They have already applied for a licence to sell alcohol from the site from 8am to 11pm.
The news has caused a storm among villagers, many of who were unhappy to see a new store opening at all. Most of those who supported the scheme were hoping for an upmarket store such as Waitrose or Booth’s.
An online petition has been started, opposing Netto as occupants of the new store.
Netto returned to England last year in partnership with Sainsbury’s, who already operate a convenience store in Lymm.
They are opening 15 stores initially, mainly in the North of England. The nearest are Heaton Park, Manchester and Ormskirk. All will be jointly owned with Sainsbury’s on a 50-50 basis, each company having invested £12.5 million.
Netto say their new stores are very different to those they operated during their first attempt to establish a presence in the UK. They will have a product range of 2,100, with a focus on fresh food and in-store Danish bakery.
Sainsbury branded goods will not be sold.
Netto could be taking a big gamble on deciding to move into Lymm.
There was significant opposition from villagers when the former Somerfield’s store was taken over by Spar, which was seen by many people as a move downmarket. Shoppers voted with their feet and Spar eventually were forced to sell out to Sainsbury. Many people feel Netto could suffer the same fate.
But others point out that Sainsbury’s having a half-share in Netto could pose a question mark over the Sainsbury store in the village centre.
Closeure of this store would be seen as a disaster for the village shopping centre.
However, Sainsbury’s were quick to deny any such suggestion. A spokesman said: “We have no plans to close our shop at Lymm which is extremely popular with the local community.”
Picture: An artist’s impression of the new store