Dorking SOS at Gala Night
Dorking SOS will be taking part in the town's Gala Night on December 7th, an event which - if the proposed new Sainsbury's superstore is built - may well prove to be one of the last Gala Nights for many of the town's independent traders, market stall holders and the men and women they employ.
To demonstrate it is still possible to supply the needs of most households by shopping at the town's independent retailers Dorking SOS have prepared a special Christmas menu, all of which is sourced from local outlets (see Xmas Menu).
We wonder how hard it would be to compile such a list in the Christmases following the opening of the superstore?
Our members will be handing out these menus along with other items to promote our campaign, including special car stickers, on Gala Night. Please come and speak to one of us during the evening and let us know your views on the store.
Numerous examples show that the arrival of a new superstore in town is the final nail in the coffin for many local traders, who invariably make a more substantial contribution to the local economy than the newcomer. A recent All Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group report showed that 50% of turnover from local retailers is returned to the local economy, whereas large retailers may return as little as 5%.
The superstore would also result in a net loss of jobs. The same report showed that at present the supermarket chains control more than 80% of the grocery market and yet they employ only 50% more staff than small shops, who control the remaining 20%. The average superstore results in a net loss of 276 full-time jobs.
In the case of Dorking, retailers will also have to face a lengthy construction period with massively reduced car parking facilities if the store goes ahead. Those shops who survive this difficult time will then have to go head to head with one of the nation's largest chains on their doorsteps.
Anyone interested in joining Dorking SOS on Gala Night should contact Steve McDonald on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07753 467652.