Tesco has been given permission to transform a Co-op petrol station in Stonehaven after competition watchdogs thwarted Asda’s plans for it.
The UK’s largest supermarket chain will carry out work on the Kirkton Road site following its recent purchase.
It comes as some in the town rage against the Co-op’s perceived “monopoly” on grocery shopping.
And though it’s just a Tesco Express opening up, residents figure every little helps when it comes to competition.
Didn’t Asda buy the Kirkton Road petrol station?
The shop and petrol station was bought by Asda last October, but those takeover plans fell apart in June.
It came after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) rapped the supermarket giant over its acquisition of various forecourts, saying it could “lead to a reduction in competition”.
Watchdog said Asda takeover ‘could hit consumers’
It was one of a “number of local areas” where Asda and the Co-op compete, what with the Portlethen Asda superstore just a few miles away.
The CMA said they “would not face sufficient competition after the merger”.
According to the Forecourt Trader website it “concluded this could lead to consumers facing higher prices or lower quality services when shopping or buying fuel”.
Asda then agreed to sell 13 sites, including Kirkton Road.
Stonehaven Tesco provides ‘needed competition for fuel and groceries’
It was put up for sale, and snapped up by Tesco.
And now the new owner is about to cut the number of Co-op outlets in the coastal town down from four to three.
Andy Taylor, who lives in the north of the town, was among the residents who wrote to the council urging planners to seal the scheme.
He said it was “great to see investment in the community and an alternative choice for shopping ending the Co-op monopoly on pricing”.
He added: “Stonehaven needs healthy competition, both for fuel and groceries.”
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What are the Stonehaven Tesco Express changes?
Now, blueprints for the Tesco takeover have been approved by Aberdeenshire Council.
The company will build two new 60,000 litre fuel tanks, and remove the ones already on site.
The Stonehaven Tesco Express will also have a Post Office, along with new parking spaces and pumps, and an upgraded canopy.