Oops! Tesco’s Gateshead mailout sends customers to Poundland

Tesco Gateshead mailout (13 Apr 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Tesco Gateshead mailout (13 Apr 2012)

Ahead of the Gateshead superstore’s closure on 22 April, Tesco has mailed details of its temporary store to local customers – but they may have trouble finding it using the map provided.

While the leaflet gives the correct address for the former Kwik Save premises, the attached map locates the store on the wrong side of the High Street. Customers who follow the map to the letter will end up in Poundland – where Gateshead’s Woolworths used to be – much to the delight, no doubt, of the thriving discount retailer.

Tesco Gateshead mailout (13 Apr 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Tesco Gateshead mailout (13 Apr 2012)

Tesco Gateshead mailout (13 Apr 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Tesco Gateshead mailout (13 Apr 2012)

Even without the map blooper, Poundland – along with the nearby Iceland, Home Bargains and refurbished Heron Foods stores – will certainly be hoping to mop up some of the business that would normally have gone Tesco’s way. However, the mailout showcases the determined efforts that Tesco is making to hang on to its customers ahead of the rebuilt store’s opening in spring 2013.

Tesco, Chester-le-Street (24 Jan 2011). Photograph by Graham Soult

Tesco, Chester-le-Street (24 Jan 2011)

In addition to promoting the temporary store – which will include a relocated pharmacy – the leaflet includes money-off vouchers worth £14 and provides details of the nearest full-line Tesco stores in Kingston Park and Chester-le-Street.

Shuttle bus timetable in Tesco Gateshead mailout (13 Apr 2012). Photograph by Graham Soult

Shuttle bus timetable in Tesco Gateshead mailout (13 Apr 2012)

The flyer also reveals that the Chester-le-Street store will be served by a free shuttle bus to and from Gateshead, running every hour during weekday and Saturday daytimes.

Outgoing Tesco store, Gateshead (18 Jun 2010). Photograph by Graham Soult

Outgoing Tesco store, Gateshead (18 Jun 2010)

Unusually, Gateshead is relatively poorly served by the big-four supermarkets: other than the soon-to-close Tesco, the nearest store to the centre is the already busy ex-Netto Asda Supermarket in Old Fold Road, while Sainsbury’s has a superstore a few miles away at Team Valley. Morrisons, meanwhile, currently has no presence in Gateshead at all, though that will change once new-build stores in Blaydon and Birtley open in the next year or two.

At only a fraction of the size of its predecessor, it’s inevitable that the temporary Gateshead Tesco will only ever cater for a small proportion of the current store’s customers. It will therefore be fascinating to see how Gateshead shoppers’ habits change over the next few months.

Free bus or not, my suspicion is that most will drift over to smaller local competitors rather than partake of the 25-minute trip to Chester-le-Street – and with Gateshead’s Tesco Extra still a year away from opening, it’s in those competitors’ hands to provide a level of value and service that stops their newly acquired shoppers ever drifting back.

6 Responses to “Oops! Tesco’s Gateshead mailout sends customers to Poundland”

  1. Jeremy Fry said:

    Apr 22, 12 at 09:42

    Good piece, Graham. The trouble with Gateshead (I’m a resident near the town centre) is that the town centre isn’t really anything of the sort. It’s a High Street (about which the less said, the better)and it’s really only a minor extension of the Newcastle/Gateshead quayside area. So it’s no surprise that there was only ever room for one large supermarket, and Tesco got there first.

    The population isn’t clustered around Gateshead “centre” either -for the most part it spreads away from it, so the distance quickly becomes a problem, and residents probably rely more on local shops than is normal (I’m fortunate in having a pretty good NISA store nearby, although that will be threatened if Tesco get their wish to open a store in the old Honeysuckle pub on Coatsworth Road.

    This said, I am personally glad Tesco is the big shop in Gateshead. I know people love to hate ‘em, but I am pinning a lot of hope on the development of the town centre, which they are putting big money into. With the razing of Trinity Square and the car park, plus the introduction of student accommodation in the centre and hopefully some more demolition at the other end of the high street, perhaps some life and even a bit of money will come in. I somehow doubt it’ll ever challenge Jesmond for cool! – but a year or two more spent on improving for the longer term is a price I think worth paying.

  2. Daniel Breslauer said:

    Apr 22, 12 at 19:41

    I fully agree with everything Jeremy said, especially about Tesco’s large investment in rebuilding half of Gateshead’s town ‘centre’.

    I live in the same area as Jeremy. Without a car, Sainsbury’s is very difficult to reach; Asda is pretty much the same. I suppose I’ll be using either Sainsbury or Asda and taking a taxi home once every 1-2 weeks with the heavy stuff (I have 3 cats – the amount and weight of cat litter is something one doesn’t want to carry too far).

    Mostly I’ll probably use Tesco in Newcastle city centre (Clayton Str) on the way home, I pass there by metro anyway coming back from work, but that is still a smaller store and I doprefer to get everything in one place.

  3. me said:

    Apr 22, 12 at 23:30

    Wasnt a great store and gatesheads a dump anyhow, awful grotty town centre, best part of place is being able to leave it

  4. Andy said:

    May 15, 12 at 14:04

    Living close to Gateshead Stadium Metro station (and working in South Shields), and disappointed with the range available at the Old Fold Asda, I’ve either been using the South Shields superstore (an easy walk from Simonside Metro), or going through to Kingston Park every few weeks to the big Tesco Extra. Looking forward to having the full range and more back in the centre of Gateshead next year (and I see Tesco have also done a deal with Vue Cinemas and submitted plans to change the proposed hotel in the shopping centre to a 9 screen cinema).

  5. Soult's Retail View » Tesco’s express demolition: photographs of the Gateshead store biting the dust said:

    May 16, 12 at 10:50

    [...] Demolition of Gateshead’s old Tesco superstore is nearing completion, just three weeks after it closed its doors to customers. [...]

  6. Jamie said:

    May 17, 12 at 12:37

    I never got one of the mailings that have been mentioned in this blog, so I never even got the opportunity to see the faulty map. Will be good when the redevelopment of the town centre is complete…not just Tesco, but all of it. It’s long over due and everyone that allowed the town centre to fall in such disrepair should be ashamed of themselves.


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