A sign of confusion at St Annes supermarket

A banner promoting a Fylde town centre store's refurbishment has sparked anger over geographical confusion.

By Tony Durkin
Thursday, 12th August 2021, 4:35 pm

The Sainsbury's store at St Annes has proclaimed the unveiling of its new look with a banner which says: "Your new improved Lytham Sainsburys is now open," although Lytham is actually three miles away and has a smaller Sainsbury's presence of its own.

The St Annes store, adjacent to St Annes-on-the-Sea rail station and just a few hundred yards from St Annes Town Council's headquarters, has traditionally been billed as being in 'Lytham St Annes' since it opened in former Safeway premises in St Andrew's Road North in 2004.

But St Annes Town Council felt it had to contact the store giant amid concerns, and anger, according to the Town Council's chairman Gavin Harrison, that the abbreviation to simply 'Lytham' is a step too far.

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The banner at the Sainsbury's supermarket in St Annes

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Gavin said: "This seemingly minor error by Sainsbury's is a symptom of a wider identity problem and people from both towns are understandably angry.

"The Post Office define 'Lytham St Annes' as a 'Post Town' which is acceptable for their purposes and they use postcodes to more clearly define locations.

"But that is no consolation to our residents who are rightly proud of their St Annes heritage and will fiercely protect this.

"We have all had visitors who have accidentally ended up three miles down the road and to have these signs visible from the exit to the station (St Annes station, that is!) just causes more confusion.

"I hope Sainsbury's will understand this depth of feeling and act to address the issue as soon as possible."

Town clerk Kevin Martin said: "We have spoken face to face with a store representative to point out the ‘oversight’. He is going to take it up with their head office, which ordered the banner.

"The representative suggested that the banner will ‘not remain in place for very long', but it was interesting that he has received a number of observations from residents coming from Lytham to shop there saying that there is a Sainsbury's in Lytham, so the banner is also incorrect."

The St Annes Sainsbury's store remained open through the refurbishment, which included the installation of an Argos counter and new fresh food display areas, but the closure of its previous Lloyds pharmacy facility.

Sainsbury's was contacted for comment.

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