Saturday 14 January 2017 2.31pm
I've just got back from the new E&C Sainsburys and, like Jules, am entirely underwhelmed.
Having been told it would be a "supermarket" at consultation stage, and given the large and increasing number of people living nearby, I was expecting something like the Sainsburys in Clapham or Pimlico or, at least, Angel. Instead, it's a large 'local' store, of a similar size to the one opposite Holborn Underground Station.
The range is terrible.
There are just five refrigerator units of fresh meats. The only beef roasting joints are Silverside and Topside. The only offal I could find was lamb and chicken livers - no kidneys, no hearts, nothing. The only game was two lonely venison steaks.
For beer, there are 11 bottled ales, all the same national beers that you can get everywhere. There's more of a choice of ciders.
Wine starts at less than a fiver, and the range is massively concentrated around six to seven pounds.
There's no deli counter, no butchers' counter. Plenty of space is given over to electrical and other durable household goods, though. When I went to pay, there were about eight customers queueing at the two(!) large checkouts and a dozen unused self-service tills.
On this evidence, the people of Elephant and Castle have no need to worry about gentrification.
Unless there's going to be a proper sized supermarket in the rebuilt shopping centre (and when would that be available?), Southwark Council
should be ashamed of itself for not insisting on a bigger shop. The people of the Elephant and Castle deserve better.
It doesn't get better when you leave the shop. The entire width of the pavement between the shop and the 53/453 bus stop's shelter is given over to a cycle lane. There is, literally, no space for pedestrians to walk towards the tube station or other bus stops.