Supermarket must consider small businesses in Oundle, says MP

The Waitrose in East Road, Oundle
The Waitrose in East Road, Oundle
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Corby and East Northants MP Andy Sawford has called for a supermarket giant to be a considerate neighbour to small independent shops in Oundle.

Businesses say the town’s Waitrose, opened last autumn, has had a detrimental effect because they cannot compete with its offers of free newspapers for customers spending at least £5.

On Saturday, the Financial Times reported that Mr Sawford had written to every MP with a Waitrose in their constituency to write to the supermarket chain’s managing director, asking he made changes to the scheme in the name of fair competition.

Mr Sawford has said he made the request to Waitrose after he was contacted by Oundle News.

“Chris Cant, the owner of Oundle News, contacted me about the impact on his business of the free newspaper offer in the local Waitrose,” Mr Sawford said.

“I always try to help constituents who come and see me and in this case I wrote to Waitrose to ask them to look at this issue.

“Oundle has a thriving town centre and all I am asking Waitrose is to be a good neighbour to local small businesses in the town.” He added that other MPs, including Wellingborough and Rushden’s Peter Bone, had raised similar issues in their constituencies.