It is no wonder that Morrisons have backed out of the petrol filling station deal with Northumberland Estates as reported in last week’s Gazette.
Motorists and town centre traders will inevitably suffer as a result.
Supermarkets have a 50 per cent share of the forecourt business and consequently receive better buying terms than any other forecourt petrol operator.
Had Northumberland Estates, and indeed the planners, considered this when letting the Willis site to Aldi then I am quire sure that Morrisons would not have given back word on the petrol station and associated shop unit from which they would have sold discount food and more particularly discount petrol.
Like Morpeth, petrol would have been at least 3p per litre cheaper than we pay at Alnwick.
In addition to this permanent lower price, Morrisons would no doubt also have had additional deals at as much as 15p per litre discount to promote their existing supermarket.
The Co-op would have to attempt to follow suit.
It will be difficult to attract another petrol operator to lease the site because of its inferior location and the inevitable price matching by the Co-op who enjoy better buying terms.
Alnwick would in my opinion have been better off with cheaper petrol rather than yet another grocery discounter that will draw motor trade from the town centre and add to the traffic congestion on the link road from the A1 to the town.
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