Tesco ‘refuses’ to contribute to Wellfield Road Christmas lights display

February 8, 2013 2 Comments »
The Tesco Express store on Wellfield Road says it will no longer contribute towards the cost of the street's Christmas lights display.

The Tesco Express store on Wellfield Road says it will no longer contribute towards the cost of the street’s Christmas lights display.

Supermarket giant Tesco has been accused of refusing to contribute to a Christmas lights display on a city high street.

The Wellfield Road Traders Association, which organises the festive decoration of the Roath street every year, branded the retail chain “disgusting” for failing to back the community initiative.

Tesco confirmed it did initially agree to contribute but that because circumstances appeared to change, it felt it could no longer be involved.

A spokesman said: “We always work hard to be part of the local communities we serve, including supporting local events and charities. We have contributed towards the costs of the Christmas lights for several years, but felt unable to do so last year after a misunderstanding.

“However, we are very happy to talk to the organisers about how we can support the event again this year.”

But the traders association said its members felt “let down” by the chain, which operates a branch of Tesco Express on the street.

The association’s chairman Jaymin Patel said 59 businesses around Wellfield Road were asked last year to offer a donation towards the costs – ideally £90 each.

Jaymin, who owns Seven Clothing on Wellfield Road, said: “They said ‘yes’, then started making excuses.

The lights on Wellfield Road are on display from November until January.

The lights on Wellfield Road are on display from November until January.

“I went in there on Tuesday and they said ‘we’re not going to give it now, we can’t afford it’.”

He added: “When Tesco came to Wellfield Road, there was big opposition to it. But they said they wanted to be a community store and support community projects. This is right on their doorstep and yet they won’t support it. It’s disgusting.”

The lights are switched on during the last week of November and stay on from 3pm each day up until early January.

“All of the independent shops on this road, who are probably struggling the most, have helped,” he added.

“I said to them all that I do understand and I know it’s hard out there, but if you could give something just to show you do care.

“But for Tesco to say to us they can’t manage anything is just something else.”

Greggs, Subway, Hallmark Cards and Lloyds Pharmacy said no from the start and there was no response from Coffee#1’s head office, Jaymin said.

But he said the association had accounted for Tesco’s expected contribution and will now have to ask other traders to make up the difference.

A spokesman for Coffee#1 said: “We supported all the Christmas lights requests that we received this year. Unfortunately, we did not receive the request from the Wellfield Road Traders Association, which is a shame as we would have gladly contributed.

“We have contacted the Association to give them our direct contact details to ensure future requests reach the relevant person.”

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2 Comments

  1. foomandoonian February 10, 2013 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    "We have contributed towards the costs of the Christmas lights for several years, but felt unable to do so last year after a misunderstanding." – A spokesman.

    I'm always confused how quotes like this get reported without follow-up. What misunderstanding? Was the spokesman asked? If not, why not? Did he refuse to clarify? Why?

  2. @hintofsarcasm February 15, 2013 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Community spirit in action here, "Give us the money or we'll go to the papers and shame you", nice tactic to get "donations", doesn't seem very voluntary.

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