Waitrose closures will damage our house prices, homeowners complain as shut stores are replaced with Lidl

Jessica Carpani
Three stores closed by Waitrose will be taken over by Lidl  - ANDY RAIN

Waitrose & Partners will close four of their stores with Lidl taking on three of the leases, as homeowners fear the change will damage house prices.

Kal Kandola, 49, was dismayed to hear that the Wollaton Waitrose in Nottinghamshire would be replaced with a Lidl.

She said: “We are regulars at Waitrose and not very happy about this at all.

“I have houses in Wollaton that I rent out. The issue of house prices is a concern as Wollaton is an affluent area.

Mrs Kandola said that while she appreciated Lidl’s business model there were already plenty of their stores in the area and that the decision meant customers “ability to choose the quality of produce that we want to buy is being taken away from us.”

Instead, customers were being “forced” down the “cheap and cheerful route”.

Mrs Kandola added: “I have purchased fruit and veg from Lidl and Aldi before and the quality is definitely not there.

Waitrose announced earlier in the month that their stores in Bromley, Oadby and Wollaton would close and had been acquired by Lidl while the party acquiring Sandhurst remained unnamed.

A further three shops, Marlow in Buckinghamshire, Stevenage in Hertfordshire and Waterside near Heathrow are also due to close.

In Bromley the average house price is £502,961, Oadby £311,734 and Wollaton, £273,885.

A report published last year by Lloyds Bank found that homes near a Waitrose store enjoy the biggest premium, selling for £43,571 (12%) more than the average house prices in the area.

However, properties close to budget supermarkets such as Lidl saw the largest house price rise by an average 15% (£29,316) over the previous four years, compared to 10% for all supermarkets.

Lidl confirmed plans to open three new stores as part of their “ongoing expansion programme”.

They said: “In addition to ensuring that a supermarket remains at the heart of the respective local communities, the new stores will provide households with access to high quality affordable produce.”

Retail Expert, Clare Bailey said: “What we’re seeing is a shift away from premium priced food retail and an appetite for discount retail despite the fact that the experience isn’t as good.”

“I don’t think anybody considers it to be lesser quality but they do see it as a stripped back experience.

Ms Bailey added that it was no longer “uncool to be frugal” as stigmas around shopping at budget supermarkets dissolve but that despite this house prices may still be influenced by perception. “If an area is perceived to be more affluent with a boutique retail environment this will have a positive impact on house prices.”

She added that this would only a problem for people wanting to buy out of the area.

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