Monday 22 August 2011

Supermarket space-race brewing?

Sainsburys buying the Twaites brewery site in Blackburn is merely the latest in a supermarket space-race in a diminishing pool of large-space locations that in many cases already have planning permission.
For breweries to survive in a competitive market, they need to optimise all routes to consumer…, including supermarkets. This results in lower prices, leading to a need for increased efficiencies, tending to make old, town-centre sites less fit for purpose… i.e.

Hertford brewer McMullen has sold its Victorian brewery site to Sainsbury’s

Old Harveys/Robinsons brewery in Ulverston, Cumbria, is also due to be turned into a supermarket.

The Young’s brewery site in Wandsworth, south-west London, is scheduled for redevelopment

The old Vaux Breweries in Sunderlandowned by Tesco but selling to regional development agency.

Meanwhile retail watchers are also keeping an eye on what happens at the Tetley brewery in Leeds, which closed its doors in June after 189 years. 

However, unlike other land grabs by supermarkets, the reaction to the brewery takeovers has been generally positive. 
Selling the site to one of the major multiples provides cash for purpose-built premises out-of-town.
Heritage-wise, the supermarkets can perhaps satisfy some of the people some of the time by attempting to preserve as much as possible of the original site, efficiencies permitting…..
A win-win-win for all?

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