Monday, 15 August 2011

Sainsbury's moves over "misleading claims"

SAINSBURY’S has published an online “mythbuster” in a bid to counter “unfortunate rumours and misleading claims” about a store plan for Dorridge.


Click the headline or link below to read the rest of this story.

The supermarket has published a series of “rumours” and “truths” on its website promoting the plan for Forest Court.

A larger scheme was rejected by Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in March last year and a planning application for a smaller plan was submitted last month.

The website says: “Sainsbury’s understands that the broad range of scheme changes, mixed with unfortunate rumours and misleading claims can get very confusing.”

It says it has “no intention” of closing its Solihull store to drive trade to Dorridge nor to put a multi-storey car park on top of the planned store, where 179 spaces would go.

A multi-storey “is not possible both from an economic and construction point of view”.

It lists a “rumour” as: “Sainsbury’s has increased the rents of all the remaining tenants to get them to leave.”

The website says: “No rents have been increased and Sainsbury’s has worked with each tenant on an individual basis to understand their requirements and aspirations.”

Another rumour is listed as: “The store has only been reduced by 15%”.

It says the sales area is 26 per cent smaller and this has been widely publicised by the firm as it is the number that “will affect the number of people that choose to visit the store”

Yet Sainsbury’s has accepted that the overall store size is 15 per cent smaller.

It says a rumour that seven, 38 tonne lorries will visit the site every day is not true and there will be nine - four, 38 tonnes and five between 13.5 and 26 tonnes.

The Dorridge Residents Against Village Superstore group printed a leaflet saying 24 trips in and out – 12 lorries – would use the site a day.

It produced an insert with the correct figure of 18 journeys in and out – nine lorries – as the leaflet had been printed before the official planning application was put in.

The online page – titled “Making An Informed Decision” says the scheme is not designed to attract customers from an “extensive area” but within three miles of Dorridge.

The DROVS leaflet says the firm planned to attract shoppers from “miles around”. The three mile figure was given in the planning application.

Dyehouse Pharmacy will be relocated inside the development, Sainsbury’s says, and the firm will pay for changes to The Dorridge Practice and road layouts.

The website prints the “rumour” that “Sainsbury’s PR team have been commenting on the Silhillian Blog in an attempt to pose as local residents in support of the scheme”.

It says “The only communications with the Silhillian Blog have been statements and comments to the editor.

“At no point has a member of Sainsbury’s development team commented on the blog.”

Sainsbury’s previously moved to correct information it said was inaccurate last month after DROVS said it understood views would not be accepted on the application after August 3.

The firm and the council said comments received after the deadline would still be taken into account.

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