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Family store fears for future with Pod plans

MBTC-13-02-13- D & G Short. Flitwick

D & G Short a family run shop celebrating its  87th year in March. Staion Rd, Flitwick.

Gwen Short, Ruth Short, Barry Short, Chris Short and Vicky Williams.

MBTC-13-02-13- D & G Short. Flitwick D & G Short a family run shop celebrating its 87th year in March. Staion Rd, Flitwick. Gwen Short, Ruth Short, Barry Short, Chris Short and Vicky Williams.

A family-run DIY store that is nearly 90 years old has expressed fears about its future claiming Tesco is just ‘treading over small local businesses’.

The supermarket giant has received planning permission to build a Pod outside its Flitwick store that will offer a key-cutting, dry cleaning and shoe repairs.

Local hardware and locksmith shop D & G Short that has been running in Flitwick for nearly 90 years says it’s going to really struggle to compete once it opens.

Victoria Williams, who now runs the store along with her brother Chris and parents Barry and Ruth, said: “We were just getting over the B&Q hurdle, we were worried about B&Q opening at Bedford Interchange Park, but it doesn’t seem to have affected us too much.

“So we had just got over that worry and then we hear about this Pod. We didn’t even know about, one of our customers heard from someone at the market.

“There was no consultation and the council cannot object on the grounds of competition so there was nothing we could have done.

“We offer a lot more than just stocked shelves. We can’t do anything about the convenience factor, but we have done some research on these Tesco Pods and know we offer our key-cutting services a couple of pounds cheaper.”

She added: “I just feel that Tesco is bulldozing over all us small businesses.”

The family-run business opened in 1926 by Charles and May Short. It was then passed down to May’s daughter-in-law Gwen who is now 91 and still lives in Flitwick.

Victoria added: “All we can really do now is push the excellent customer side of the business we offer. We have three locksmiths, one of them has 20 years experience and is based in the shop. How much experience can there be in a Pod? I just hope people carry on supporting us.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “We’re always looking for ways to improve our sites for our customers and the new Pod will be opening later this month”.

 

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