A petition against closing a local shop in First Tower is being handed to the competition regulator today.
Last November, CICRA told SandpiperCI it would have to close its Checkers Express to shed stores in its ownership after buying up the local Costcutters.
The watchdog has temporarily reversed its decision while an investigation takes place.
It follows an outcry from local residents. More than 1,000 are calling for the store to stay.
Tim Barress started the petition:
“It is not just a grocery store. It is regarded as a village shop. The staff are very friendly and pleasant and people pop in for a chat – especially people who live on their own. With electricity top-op for older people, they would have to go up to Benest’s or into town to do that if the store closed.”
CICRA has asked Sandpiper for evidence that it has made every effort to sell Checkers at First Tower as a general store, to provide ‘proper competition’ for people living in the area.
“We are currently investigating whether Sandpiper has complied with the conditions of the merger. We issued a decision instructing that the store at First Tower should not be closed while our investigation takes place.
We appreciate that consumers may be impacted by the closure of this shop. What is best for consumers is forefront to our consideration.”