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German chain to transform town 'eyesore'

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: January 29, 2013

By David Shepherd

  • Aldi has confirmed it will be opening a store in Cullompton

  • Brian and Ann Horner

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DISCOUNT retailer Aldi has confirmed that it intends to open a supermarket in the centre of Cullompton.

The German grocery chain says it will be moving in to the site formerly occupied by Somerfield and Co-op, which has remained an eyesore since it closed in August 2010.

News of Aldi's plans broke when management positions were advertised locally, but the total number of jobs expected to be provided have not yet been revealed by the company.

A spokesman for Aldi said: "We are looking forward to opening a new store in Cullompton on the site of the former Somerfield."

The German chain boasts of offering low-cost, day-to-day items which are bought in volume from "the same, hand-picked suppliers."

The spokesman added: "Many high street supermarkets spend huge sums of money on fancy displays and gimmicks in order to persuade people to buy. We don't. Our store layouts are simple so customers can find what they need for the kind of prices they want."

A four pack of 'premium' German lager can be bought for £2.38, while a frozen joint of gammon is available for £2.99 and two lamb shanks will set customers back by £4.99.

On selected dates Special Buys are also available at Aldi stores which sell a range of products from face treatment oil to halogen ovens.

Aldi launched in Germany in 1946, and it now has a total of 2,400 stores. The company operates throughout Eastern and Western Europe, as well as the United States, and has 421 stores in the UK since arriving in 1989/90.

News of their arrival has been welcomed by Neil Vaughan, vice-chairman of the Cullompton Regeneration Action Group (CRAG), who said: "That end of town has been crying out for regeneration as it's an eyesore.

"That whole area needs brightening up so we welcome another supermarket for the town because it will bring more footfall and businesses in that area will see a benefit, so this is another step on the regeneration ladder. And, hopefully, it will employ local people who will spend money in town centre shops which will boost our economy."

Town clerk Nina Ashley echoed Mr Vaughan's view and said Aldi would not threaten the street markets run by the town council at the Bullring.

"I don't see it as competition to the market as it sells different products," Mrs Ashley said. "It will bring more people here and offer additional parking and we look forward to receiving more news.

"I have heard only positive comments. I know people that flock to the one in Exeter from miles away so I am hoping they will come to Cullompton."

Brian Horner, who has run Country Fayre greengrocery in Fore Street for two years, has "no worries" about Aldi.

"It may bring more people in – what we need is more foot traffic – but we are getting more and more with the houses being built and we are getting people coming from Honiton and Plymtree and our reputation is growing," he said.

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