Tesco drops plan to open a second shop in Douglas

By Adrian Darbyshire in Business

Tesco has withdrawn an application to set up an express store in the Strand Shopping Centre.

Last month we reported how a licensing application for the new store in Douglas had been successfully legally challenged by the owners of Shoprite.

A statement issued by the Strand Shopping Centre today said: ’We are disappointed to advise that Tesco have surrendered the alcohol licence they were provisionally granted in December 2015 for their intended new store at The Strand Shopping Centre.

’This licence was never formally issued due to the number of appeals and Tesco have withdrawn their plans to open a new store in the centre.’

Louise Whyman, centre manager said: ’This is a disappointing outcome but with the lengthy timescale and mounting costs for all parties, with no end date for resolution I understand why this decision had been reached by Tesco.’

Tesco have been asked for a comment but are yet to issue any statement.

In December 2015, the licensing court granted a provisional off-licence for a proposed Tesco Express in the former Manx Electricity Authority showroom at the shopping centre.

Since then, the shopping centre has changed hands and is now owned by Sports Direct.

Shoprite owners Isle of Man Enterprises appealed against the licensing court’s decision and sought permission to bring new evidence at the appeal hearing but the licensing court of appeal (LCA) refused to admit new evidence.

Shoprite’s parent company then obtained an adjournment of the appeal hearing and lodged a petition of doleance to try to quash that decision and have its application heard by a differently constituted LCA.

The claimant argued that the LCA was wrong in law in refusing to allow new evidence.

And it questioned whether a perception of bias or unconscious bias arose from the fact that the chairman of the LCA sat on a number of the same tribunals as counsel for Tesco.

The LCA refused to state its case on that latter allegation and described it as a ’frivolous’, which prompted Shoprite’s owners to lodge a second petition of doleance seeking an order compelling the LCA to state its case.

At a hearing in November, Tesco’s advocate pointed out that as the shopping centre is under new ownership it was likely that further evidence would need to be placed before the LCA anyway.

In a judgment, last month Deemster Cain ruled that the LCA’s decision be quashed and remitted, as per Isle of Man Enterprise’s first doleance claim.

This was with the consent of the LCA and allowed the second doleance petition to be withdrawn.

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15 Comments

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Skeeter Boy · 72 days ago · Report

Absolute disgrace that Shoprite are allowed to get away with objecting to anyone, anywhere on the island, in setting up to compete against their food or drinks outlets - which are the worst value of any of the major retailers on the island. Hope the rumours of Aldi looking to move here are true. Won't affect Tesco too much, but Shoprite will be slammed - watch them howl like banshees if Aldi do look to set up here !

ET · 80 days ago · Report

Though no Tesco fan I agree with many that Shoprites ever-mounting anti-competition paranoia is certainly not good for the customer. Defending a long term located outlet in a town centre location next door to a proposed Tesco Express can be done one of two ways. Block it's potential existence by legal means or compete more aggressively and clean up the vulnerability that suggests any competition would be successful. Obviously the first method is cheaper but the 2nd wins customers.

Conch · 80 days ago · Report

when we shop in Tesco we see customers with trolleys full of food not alcohol! but they can get everything there in one go, Lidl opening superstore in Kent - now we're talking

Manx born (formerl CV) · 80 days ago · Report

The one thing you get at Lidl or Aldi are cheap prices. You do not get a great choice.

Foxy lady · 81 days ago · Report

I very rarely do shop rite, they expensive Tesco is best, lot of choice, but still waiting for aLidl or Aldi that would be great

Manx born (formerl CV) · 81 days ago · Report

Says it all about Tesco when they have to rely on the sae of alcohol to make a profit. Which is why they always come bottom of the pile of supermarkets.

Gdad · 81 days ago · Report

This is just wrong

Conch · 81 days ago · Report

and the comments on here abt freedom to perish and if your fact fits couldn't be more accurate that's the iom as long as you're 'local'

Conch · 81 days ago · Report

no we don't shop in Shoprite for a full shop never .... you never see it busy anyway in Dgls - yet Tesco is jammed to the rafters and its now full of John Lewis stuff so it must be supermarket wars, its certainly not a local supermarket there isn't such a thing. planning process is pathetic ally long winded that unit stood empty ? over a year.

ManxMoan · 81 days ago · Report

A Tesco express would be handy in Strand, I never use Shoprite behind Strand, The over arching sell of urine as you approach, the poor choice of goods, the unfriendly staff... the list goes on and on. The Isle of Man, Freedom to flourish as long as your face fits.... ? Absolutely disgusting to be honest, but then again I'm not completely surprised.

Bechmond · 81 days ago · Report

Disgraceful behaviour by Shoprite.....

Phil · 81 days ago · Report

Do what I do and vote with your wallet. I never use Shoprite.

Shenanigans · 81 days ago · Report

The Isle of Man: Freedom to Perish

Spook · 81 days ago · Report

I wouldn't be surprised if Tesco was to pull out based on the cost of operating here and the cut backs being made by Tesco across the UK.

Ballasalla · 81 days ago · Report

Nimbyism from Shoprite. Disgraceful.

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