Asda build concerns Rustington traders

THERE have been mixed reactions over the news that another superstore will be coming to the area within the next year.

Wednesday, 7th December 2011, 5:42 am

After months of rumour and speculation, it was revealed last week that retail giant Asda will be developing a new store on the former Country Fayre garden centre site, in Ferring.

Retailers in Rustington have voiced their concerns about the impact this new development could have on the village’s shopping precinct.

Ian Greig, president of Rustington Chamber of Trade and Commerce, argued that the new development could reduce the footfall in the village’s high street.

He said: “Personally, I think we have got enough of these huge stores.

“Morrisons is going to Littlehampton soon and now Asda is heading to Ferring.

“Rustington is caught in the middle.

“I am not happy about what could happen to Rustington’s stores because, obviously, the village depends on a lot of people coming into the town.

“I just don’t quite understand how these superstores expect to make a living, with so many being developed in this area.”

Mr Greig added that he was unsure as to what the future could hold for the number of specialist stores in the village, saying: “Whether Asda coming into Ferring will have a direct, and noticeable impact, on the passing trade in the village, only time will tell. But I am concerned.

“The village is full of specialist shops that need to be supported by the local community, particularly during these difficult economic period.

“If it brings people to the area and makes them come to Rustington then that’s obviously wonderful. But I’m still not sure.”

In Littlehampton, though, the proposed development of the 125,000 sq ft site, off the A259 at Ferring – which could create a total of 540 jobs in the area – was less of a concern.

Simon Vickers, chairman of Littlehampton Traders’ Partnership, said: “I can’t really think of any businesses that would be directly affected by the Asda development.

“The majority of stores in High Street are independent and have a good customer base.

“Yes, it will draw people away from the town centre, but I know the commitment by multi-national stores in the town to continue to develop and thrive here has not changed.”

Asda plans to open the store during the latter half of next year.