The Day The Co-Op Took Over

Sainsbury's, Dronfield.

With the new Aldi being erected in Dronfield, albeit in a rather bizarre place for a supermarket, it makes you wonder: was this really necessary? Could the spacious, derelict area opposite Little Italy have  been used for something more productive, something more geared to the youth? With plans to build a skate park in Dronfield a few years ago being denied due to the noise it would create, the area upon which Aldi sits seems like it would have been a perfect option, as the only people within distance of the noise would be train passengers and the occasional extrasensory driver. I’m not saying that a skate park would be the only solution to prevent Dronfield winning an award for Britain’s dullest town (take that Grantham!), it was merely an idea which raised support before being smothered by the council.

Looking through the adverts that fill up the back (as well as the front and the middle) of The Dronfield Eye, Dronfield’s most popular publication currently, I did not realise that a small town could house so many businesses that specialise in exactly the same thing. However, none of them are at all appealing; they all say the same things, they all attempt to persuade with quotes from Dave Berry (much like flogging a dead horse) and they all have names which are unimaginative and/or ridiculous. My point being, absolutely nothing in Dronfield caters to the youth/teenagers. Every time a local newspaper announces new projects in Dronfield it’s either a supermarket or a selection of houses in extremely close proximity to one another.

It’s a sad time when all a quaint town like Dronfield needs is a Tesco and an Asda to complete the trifecta of ‘supermarket titans’. While I for one predicted the complete domination of the Sainsbury’s ‘megastore’, I failed to recognise the selling power of multiple Co-Ops. Due to the size of Dronfield you kind of get the feeling that you cannot escape the ubiquitous Co-Op; it would appear that around each corner is a Co-Op set out in exactly same way as every other one, like a grotesque Somerfield doppelgänger . However, while it is one of the larger supermarkets, I like Sainsbury’s as  it’s pleasant, welcoming and not oppressive. Plus, anywhere that not only manages to put up with, but actively promotes Jamie Oliver while he acts like a twat on television can’t be run by the right-wing ‘big wigs’ that are in charge of most big businesses.

The police and members of the community complain about ‘kids hanging around outside shops’, which to me says stop building new shops. Build it and they shall come! But once they arrive, they loiter, steal and eventually get moved along. In all honesty, I’d much prefer not to talk about supermarkets for an entire post. But I think it reiterates the fact that there is literally sod all for teenagers to do that doesn’t revolve around the products supermarkets sell or the social occasion of ‘hanging around’ outside them.

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