After its recent announcement that its full-year pre-tax profit had more than halved - the worst performance in the company's history following £2.4bn of writedowns following its decision to exit the US and its UK-driven profit warning last year - Tesco has confirmed that it is to cancel its proposed 100 store expansion across the UK including the new Tesco Extra development for Milton Creek here in Sittingbourne.
Tesco confirmed that it had taken the UK charge as a direct result of its decision to "move away from building big stores" and that the company will "now concentrate on [its] online and convenience shop businesses". This resulted in the company identifying more than 100 sites - the majority bought between the last 5 to 10 years - that it would no longer develop.
The decision has had a mixed reaction locally but Tesco's withdrawal from the proposed regeneration on land north of the railway line means that the following plans will no longer be going ahead:-
- 11 new retail stores and a cafe - that we seen as being key to attract a wide range of new shops to the town.
- A new state-of-the-art and energy-efficient Tesco Extra.
- A new parking area with 1,188 spaces - serving both the Tesco store and the town centre generally.
- The opportunity for new homes to be built on the site in the future.
Tony Weaver will be discussing how this may or may not have an effect on Sittingbourne's Regeneration Plans on "In The Bourne" all this week - Mon-Fri 11am-3pm on 106.9 SFM.