Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Shetland Beatrice Wishart has today expressed grave concern about the proposed new Co-op shops in Scalloway and Sandwick citing that the outcry from local business and residents should stop the plans in their tracks.
The retail giant recently confirmed that they were planning to create two new convenience stores in Scalloway and Sandwick. However the plans have resulted in a large outcry of opposition by local businesses and residents who value their local shops.
Commenting Ms Wishart said:
“The outcry from local businesses and residents on the proposed plans should stop this in its tracks.
“The claim that this move will create jobs is just simply bad maths when you consider the damage that it could do to existing local businesses that employ many more than the projected figure of 30 new jobs.
“Local shops serve Shetland well. They also sell produce from across the islands and that supply chain, from wholesalers to producers with next to no food miles, includes local milk, meat and bread. The threat to the viability of the only bakery in the South Mainland is real and the knock-on economic impact should not be under-estimated. There are no bakeries left in Lerwick, and you have to wonder why.
“The shops at Sandwick and Scalloway, one of which I regularly frequent myself, are excellent. During the pandemic lockdowns people turned to local shops for home deliveries but the reality is that many do that every day anyway. This big business competition and over-provision could lead to significant job losses and, ultimately, reduce consumer choice. That doesn’t sound very convenient to me.”