What's in Store for Malton?   Mercury March 2012


The planning application for a new superstore at Wentworth Street Car park is due to be determined at a meeting of the planning committee which will take place at the Milton Rooms, Malton at 6.00pm on Thursday 29th March.


One suspects that, as Ryedale has a vested interest in the outcome, officers and senior members will be busy tying up the loose ends to ensure that the matter goes through smoothly. Meanwhile many people throughout the district may be thinking that this is Malton’s misfortune. So why should it bother them? If that is what some people think, I have news for them.


The official line is that the new superstore is needed to recapture trade lost to stores outside Ryedale. On this basis there is an annual  “leakage” of trade  of £27.8M of trade in convenience goods (food and other consumables in your weekly shop).  What the officials don’t tell us is that trade does not follow administrative boundaries and that the natural catchment area of Malton is smaller than Ryedale: if you live nearer than Malton to York, Scarborough, Thirsk, Beverley, or Teeside, or find it more convenient to travel there, you will probably shop there rather than in Malton. So, if Malton has two thirds of the convenience trade in the whole of Ryedale (as it does), that would suggest that there is in fact very little “leakage” of convenience trade out of Malton’s natural catchment area.


However, the new superstore is going to have an annual turnover of £28M. So where is this all going to come from? Are people who usually shop in Scarborough or York really going to come to Malton, if it is more convenient for them to do their weekly shop elsewhere? The answer is the superstore will take trade from every convenience outlet in Malton, Pickering, Helmsley, Kirby Moorside and Thornton Dale.  Make no mistake: this planning application is a threat to every town in Ryedale – not just Malton – and if you want to keep your local village shop or post office, forget it.


The official line is that there is a massive “leakage” of trade in “comparison” goods from Ryedale. Comparison goods include any products (eg. clothes, furniture, electricals) which are not convenience goods. It’s true: there is. However, even the superstore developers concede that, because other centres (York, Scarborough etc.) are near, it will not be possible to recapture comparison trade within Ryedale of more than 10%.


The theory is that, if the new superstore can increase the convenience trade which comes to Malton, this will have a knock on effect on trade in comparison goods, which will help local traders. However, if as is most likely, the superstore does not bring in very much more convenience trade, but takes most of their trade from shops inside Ryedale as suggested above, then there will be no significant reduction in the “leakage” of comparison trade outside the district.


Nevertheless, the superstore expects to have an annual turnover in comparison goods of £7.9M. Where is this trade going to come from, if it does not come from shops in every town in Ryedale – not just Malton?

Make no mistake: if the Wentworth Street Car Park proposed superstore goes ahead, the shopping centres in every town in Ryedale will be ruined, and the towns themselves will simply implode. If you don’t want this to happen, lobby your local councillor now, and come to the meeting.












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