Leamington MP says campaign against Tesco price rises in the town centre will continue after ‘positive’ talks with company bosses

Tesco's decision on whether or not it will drop its prices at the store in the Parade is expected in the coming days

Protestors against the price hikes at the Tesco store in The Parade in Leamington.
Protestors against the price hikes at the Tesco store in The Parade in Leamington.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has vowed to continue campaigning after talks with Tesco executives over price hikes at a Leamington town centre store.

Mr Western met managing director of Tesco Convenience, Kevin Tindall, with lead campaigner Peter Glanfield on Wednesday (December 8).

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Residents have been campaigning against price rises at the store in the Parade since it was converted from a Tesco Metro to an Express format in July.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western.

The firm scrapped the Metro status of 147 of its stores across the UK, redesignating 89 as Express models and 58 as superstores.

During talks, Mr Western and Mr Glanfield argued the Leamington supermarket is an ‘exceptional case’ – and should be converted to a superstore, with lower prices, as other larger stores have been.

The pair told Tesco the campaign will continue regardless of bosses’ decision, which is expected by the end of the week.

Mr Western said: “Let's be clear, there is no suitable town centre alternative for most Leamington shoppers.

“The Tesco in the Parade is now one of the largest, if not the largest, Express store in the country.

“It has 22 checkouts – when it is standard for them to have no more than five.

“The floorspace of the Parade store is a capacious 24,000 square feet – compared to a recently converted superstore in Knowle standing at only 8,400 square feet.

“Clearly, the Parade store is an exceptional case.

“It looks as though the company is opportunistically cashing in on a captive audience to the detriment of the elderly, the disadvantaged, those with limited mobility and hard-pressed students.

“Bosses listened to our arguments and the meeting was positive – and we are still hopeful the price rises will be reversed.”

As we reported, Mr Western accused Tesco of ‘price gouging’ as the company basks in post-pandemic profits.

In the six months to August, Tesco saw its operating profits rise by 29% to £1.3billion.

As reported in the national press, a price comparison by Mr Western on October 5 found an identical shopping basket cost him 23% more in the recently converted Express than at the superstore in Emscote Road, Warwick.

After months of investigations, most products have risen by between 15 and 20%.

Mr Glanfield – who has led the campaign for more than four months - said: “"We all know customers are continuing to suffer from unnecessarily high prices at the Tesco store in the Parade.

“We are talking to the company at a senior level with the clear aim of convincing Tesco that this large shop must be changed to a 'superstore'.

“More talks will take place - and of course our campaign continues."

Nearly 1,300 people have signed the campaigners’ petition urging Tesco to reverse the price rises.

The campaign has also gathered cross-party support from Warwick District Council, which passed a motion calling on the store’s redesignation as a superstore.The national rebrand has also resulted in opposition and campaigns across the UK in places like the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Richmond – with some customers in Nottingham arranging a boycott.