FRUSTRATED Cupar shoppers are losing patience with supermarket giant Tesco amid claims that its promise of a new store in South Road has passed its sell-by date.
Calls are being made for another retailer such as Asda, Morrisons or Sainsbury’s to move into the town after it was revealed that Tesco is to build new stores in Leven and Glenrothes, both already well-served by supermarkets.
It was more than two years ago that Tesco - after six years of negotiation - was granted permission to demolish the existing store in South Road and replace it with a bigger one.
But apart from the demolition of Reekie’s former garage, there has been no sign of any further progress.
The news that Tesco is to build a new store in Falkland Gate, Glenrothes, creating some 400 jobs, has left a bad taste among some Cuparians, who say it’s just a cynical ploy to thwart arch rival Sainsbury’s, which is also building a new outlet in Glenrothes town centre.
This week the situation sparked a lively online debate on the Fife Herald Facebook page, with some contributors suggesting that the town has waited too long for a new Tesco and that another supermarket chain should be given the chance to move in - the most popular choice being Asda. They also criticised Tesco for its ‘land-banking’ tactics.
One commented: “A decent superstore in Cupar would stop me going to Dundee for our weekly shop.
“When I am there I do all my other non-Tesco shopping at the same time.
“I will spend more in Cupar if they or someone else builds a decent-sized shop.”
Another said: “I travel to Dundee or shop online for my main weekly shop from Tesco.
“I would be more likely to spend money in other shops in Cupar if I wasn’t making a trip to Dundee and spending money in other shops there.”
Earlier this year, Tesco moved to quash rumours that it was set to pull out of Cupar in favour of the new stores in both Leven and Glenrothes, saying that these projects ‘demonstrated its commitment to further investment’ in Fife.
Back in March, a spokesman for the retailer said that work was due to begin this summer, with the new store ready to open next spring.