New Sainsbury's will bring more trade to Cheltenham High Street
OPENING a supermarket in the former Bella Italia restaurant will bring more customers to that part of town, traders claim.
Business owners close to the site in High Street, Cheltenham, believe the arrival of Sainsbury's will be a good thing for the area.
It comes as bookseller The Works opens a unit next to The Entertainer in High Street after moving from its former base near Regent Arcade.
There are seven coffee shops in the area, with Sainsbury's looking to sell sandwiches at its new store as well.
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Amer Awan, who runs Butler's Cafe Restaurant, said many people do not venture past Beechwood Shopping Centre.
He believes the supermarket giant would encourage people to walk further along the street.
"Sainsbury's is going to bring many more customers to this part of the High Street," he added.
"When there have been lots of shops closing down, it is the big names which are keeping us going.
"As long as it does not have a coffee shop, then, as far as I am concerned, it can only be good for business.
"At the moment, they tend to stop at Beechwood but Sainsbury's has a good reputation as a brand and there will be many people coming this way to shop there."
Sainsbury's, which already has stores in Tewkesbury Road, Whaddon and Bath Road, has applied to open a Sainsbury's Local in the two units which once housed Bella Italia and Mountain Shack.
It joins a host of grocery stores across the town centre, including Tesco Metro, Iceland and Marks & Spencer.
Another unnamed supermarket is also planned for the development in North Place. The new Sainsbury's will bring with it around 25 jobs, the chain's bosses estimate.
Bosses hope to open the new store early in the new year, if they get permission from Cheltenham Borough Council.
Juanita Paris, who runs The Pitta Place in High Street, was surprised at the speed of the turnaround.
"By having Sainsbury's at this end and Tesco at the other, it will certainly open up the whole High Street," she said.
"I cannot see it being a bad thing for the area.
"It is surprising how many people want to have the choice of where to shop and this will help."
Roger Sutton, who runs Wolfie's in Bath Road, said he was pleased the empty units were finally going to be filled with a business. "It will tidy up the street and bring more people down this end of the High Street," he added.