So Tesco get a licence to sell booze from 8am to 11pm at their soon-to-be-opened Express store in Weston High Street, Bath.
Writing as something of a boozehound, this sounds great at face value. If we run out of vino at 10.30pm we can stagger down the hill and replenish our stocks. But writing as a Weston resident, should I be concerned about the potential of anti-social behaviour round the Tesco cash machine, and will the High Street be awash with rivers of hoody-thrown vomit every Friday and Saturday night?
Well, Tesco have a reputation to maintain and aren't likely to allow the area round their shop to turn into a focus of trouble. I walked up and down the High Street at 10pm last Friday and it was dead. Mind you, I walked along it again on Saturday morning and it was pretty dead then: the old Somerfield brought in a lot of customers, who probably helped to keep the other shops going as well.
I'm not convinced that the Weston Tesco will bring booze-fuelled ructions in its wake. No, what worries me more is the range of non-alcoholic products it will sell. Somerfield, while cramped and a bit run-down, sold a proper range of basic cooking ingredients and Tesco Expresses are not known for carrying an interesting or varied stock. And if the new Tesco isn't setting out to attract customers to do their weekly or daily shop, then I wonder how much of that passing trade will disappear too.