In the last week a new Tesco Express has opened literally just round the corner from me, in the old Woolworths. (Newham Recorder: New Tesco Express opens its doors to boost community - and you can win £50!) I hope that we will rapidly start to see real competition between the local supermarkets.
Ever since I arrived in Forest Gate the options for food shopping have been either Somerfield, some local individual shops or a bus ride out to a nearby big supermarket (with all the ensuing problems of getting the bags home in one piece). Somerfield is open from 0700 until 2200 on Mondays to Saturdays (but only 1100-1700 on Sundays) and its prices aren't the best; however for immediate stuff, particularly perishables, it's often the only available option.
The new Tesco is smaller, but should soon be able to adapt its stock precisely to fit the local demand. And I find the customer service much better, to say nothing of the longer opening hours. Now we have the prospect of real competition in the area, as neither store can get away with charging over inflated prices purely for the benefit of being locally accessible. And in these difficult economic times anything that reduces weekly shopping bills is welcome. Here's to some good old fashioned market competition!