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Views sought on fate of shop

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THE Island’s competition watchdog is asking First Tower residents for their views on what should happen to their local convenience store after no buyers came forward to take over the Checkers Xpress.

First Tower residents are being asked to make their opinions known on the future of the Checkers Xpress store

The shop is owned and operated by SandpiperCI but the company agreed to let it go as a condition of taking over the Costcutter stores in Jersey last year.

Local residents approached the company and the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities in the hope of saving the shop, which they said was vital to meet the basic needs of people in the area.

CICRA feared that SandpiperCI owning both the Millbrook Costcutter and the First Tower Checkers might damage competition in the area.

SandpiperCI was given six months to sell or lease the shop to an independent retailer or shut it down.

But the company said it had not received any offers on the shop and CICRA announced yesterday that it would ask local residents what they would like to see happen rather than force it to shut.

‘Although we had reached agreement with Sandpiper that the store should be sold or closed, it is clear that the Checkers Xpress is both convenient and an important part of the First Tower community,’ CICRA’s legal director Sarah Livestro said.

‘Therefore, we think it is only right that residents should be given an opportunity to express their preference. Having both stores owned and operated by the same company could pose some risk to competition, but we want to take a pragmatic approach for the benefit of the consumer.’

First Tower residents can make their views known on the CICRA website from now until 23 August.

Tania Targett

By Tania Targett
Journalist

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