Rising to challenge of new competition

YOU published a letter from Darrell Sunderland (August 18) supporting the proposed Sainsbury’s in Todmorden.

I strongly agree with Mr Sunderland, since bringing a high level of investment and jobs to Todmorden will undoubtedly outweigh the possible disadvantages of extra competition.

Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next, an incredibly successful retailer stated last week, in explanation of his superb financial results, that towns which invest do well, and those which don’t die.

Wetherspoon has opened 150 pubs in London in the last 30 years with very strong objections from a number of local London brewers and pub owners.

In response to our presence, our London competitors upgraded and Fullers and Young’s, for example, have become extremely successful, whereas regional brewers with less competition have usually fared far less well.

No one is blasé about the effects of competition as I have very strongly argued the case that supermarkets have an unfair tax advantage over pubs (and have taken 50 per cent of pubs’ beer trade in the last 30 years), but it’s still better to have them nearby, rather than in a town 10 or 15 miles away.

Tim Martin, chairman – JD Wetherspoon plc