Thursday, 5 November 2009

Tesco Belmont Closure

A significant matter has just been brought to my attention this morning, which concerns people living and working in the Earldom.

The Tesco store at numbers 1 to 3, Belmont Road in Strandtown, Belfast, is to close down on the 31st December, 2009. It may, or may not, re-open in eighteen months' time. I phoned the store today and this news has been confirmed.

Eighteen months seems a long time for a small supermarket to be closed to me; indeed it dismays me. We do use this store occasionally.

So it would seem that the future of the store, and its staff, is uncertain.

If any readers have any more information about this, please do let me know.

I believe that the site at 1-3, Belmont Road, was a national school 100 years ago. It eventually became the premises of Buckley Brothers, hardware merchants; followed by a Stewart's Supermarket.


belfast cabby said...

Not happy that this store is closing as we use it quite a lot!

Timothy Belmont said...

A friend told me tonight that Tesco Holywood is closing - or has closed - for a major "makeover" to be a Tesco Express or Metro store.

They seem to be having a "shake-up", don't they?


John Self said...

My mother works in Tesco Connswater and told me about this a few weeks ago. My wife then asked the staff in the store about it and they confirmed. But it doesn't seem to be advertised much and I suspect there will be a lot of disappointed shoppers on Belmont Road come the new year.

We use the store really just for 'emergency' purchases, as we use Sainsbury's Holywood Exchange for our weekly shop. But it will affect the passing trade for all the businesses on Belmont Road - being at the end of the road (if you're coming from the Belmont Road), you have to pass everywhere else on the way.

We could go to the Ballyhackamore Local store of course, but it's much smaller and a longer walk (and if we've gone that far, we'll just go to Marks instead).

They tried to close it down years ago but there was uproar and they kept it open. I had heard that this time their lease was not being renewed by the landlord and the property was to be made into apartments. That, if true, sounds insane - hasn't the landlord heard about the credit crunch and the property crash?

I didn't know that Holywood was closing as well - I suspect all this is to get people to use their behemoth new Extra store at Knocknagoney.

I did email the East Belfast Herald about the closure, but haven't heard back - in fact I think they might have closed themselves!

Timothy Belmont said...

Many thanks indeed for that information.

We, too, use the store occasionally; though it always seems to be doing a steady trade any time I am there.

I find the notion that it might be converted into apartments hard to fathom!

I have sent a message to my MP's constituency office, whether they know about this, or not.


fattakin said...

The building does need a refurb, as you'll know if you go into the store during any solid day of rain, there are numerous leaks. But the owner is rumoured to want apartments or a different tenant. Staff tell me if it is to re-open, it will be a Tesco Express not a Tesco local, meaning less grocery style produce.

Apesy said...

I think this is absolutely disgraceful. Even if Tesco do intend to stay at Strandtown it won't take them 18months to rebuild let alone refurb! This will be a huge loss to the "village" of Strandtown not to mention the number or public transport reliant or elderly shoppers for whom the journey to, never mind around Connswater and Knocksbegunny Extra will be an absolute nightmare. Never mind, perhaps it's really an ecologocally sound decision and will cut down on the unnecessarily overpackaged trolley loads wobbling their way past the side of the Stormont Inn? Ooops - sounding frighteningly middle class now - Every little helps?

Timothy Belmont said...

Affirmative, Apesy. Couldn't have said it better myself1

I had the displeasure of visiting their colossus at K'goney a week ago and almost got lost - had to re-trace the footsteps about three times from one end of it to t'other! :-)


davethewineguy said...

not a happy chappy at this news - live v close and the tesco in ballyhack is more expensive and less stocked - still thanks for letting us locals know LB

Timothy Belmont said...

As Jeeves one famously said: Glad to have been of satisfaction!

I emailed a few local papers but, so far, they haven't responded - deafening silence.

Any word about how the Lobster Pot is faring, Dave?


davethewineguy said...

lobster pot appears to be doing well, Botanic Inns have now taken over cafe rouge in Ballyhack, Bourbon and several establishments in the west who have gone into admin. Mr Ferris will know more than me I'm sure.

Timothy Belmont said...

Hi Dave,

V interesting indeed. Thanks.


Stephen said...

Tesco took out Stewarts, no? And Asda did the other one? You can see what these guys are up to, leave things alone for a little while, then garotte the poor consumer.

Stephen said...

The other vile thing I found on my recent visit to Newtownards was the deployment of self service checkouts. Hobson's choice, wait 20 minutes for a manned checkpoint or be driven crazy by some computerised rubbish.

We have them here in Canada, but at least thus far there are still enough manned checkouts to give one the choice.

Must be very confusing for the older members of society.


P.S. there is a third choice...

Timothy Belmont said...

When you get older, you get set in your ways! I'm 49, though quite set in my ways. I've always found it hard to adjust, e.g. the new camcorder and new technology; though I think, overall, I'm not doing to badly! :-)

Jenny said...

I heard about this a few weeks ago, in the hairdresser. I didn't know it was closing to be retained by Tesco, I was told it was going to be tuned into anothor store or stores.

Must confess to never using it, partly because my route to work is past Forestside so I'm more likely to pick things up there, plus I'm disgracefully welded to my car. But I can see a lot of people will be very inconvenienced by the closure. International capital doesn't care!

nick said...

I also heard from one of the staff that the landlord wanted the property back for redevelopment. She told me all the staff had been offered jobs at other Tesco branches so wouldn't be jobless.

I don't shop there often, but there are precious few supermarkets in the area as it is without this one closing.

Timothy Belmont said...

Hello Nick,

I overheard a member of staff saying that one of them is going to Newtownbreda; and another to K'goney.

I wonder how many they employ there?

Timothy Belmont said...

Hi Jenny,

Parking on the Belmont Road is a nightmare! Still, many customers will miss that store. Pity.


Anonymous said...

It's a real shame Tesco's on Belmont Road is closing down. I feel sorry for pensioners or people without a car who frequently used the store. It will be a major loss to all local people. It's a pity it wasn't The Stormont Inn or Corner House that closed down instead! It brings the area down.

Timothy Belmont said...

Entirely agree, Anon. I called in yesterday myself for a few items. Disappointing.