It is an issue that has divided opinion - and as Tesco publically unveils its plans for an out-of-town store in Harborough, the Mail looks at the arguments for and against.
The Mail broke the news last week of firm plans by the retail giant to put a supermarket at the former Focus DIY site in Rockingham Road.
Tesco said the new supermarket would be comparable in size to the town’s Sainsbury’s. It would feature its full range of food and household goods and include a 280-space car park offering three hours’ free parking.
Its existing store on The Square and the Express shop at Rockingham Road garage would remain.
The proposal will be displayed at a two-day public exhibition at the Three Swans Hotel in town from 10am to 5pm today and from 10am to 2pm tomorrow (Saturday).
Despite Tesco’s promise of 200 new jobs the move sparked concern among many and led to the setting up of a fledgling protest group on Twitter - @NoTesco.
But while some fear it will sound the death knell for the town centre, most independent traders the Mail spoke to this week remained bullish.
They believe the quality of their goods and the personal touch offered by an independent will mean shoppers’ heads are not turned by the giant.
And a rival Twitter campaign has now started up to back Tesco’s proposal - @tescoyes
Jon Pollard set up @NoTesco to fight the plans having been inspired by the residents of a Sherborne, Dorset, who successfully campaigned to stop the giant from building a new store there.
Mr Pollard, of Sandringham Way, is concerned about the threat an out-of-town store poses to the town centre and independent businesses generally.
He said: “There seem to be a lot of people upset about it. People are thinking, ‘not another supermarket’.
“One pound in every seven in the UK goes through Tesco’s tills and I think they’re getting too big.”
The @tescoyes camp had their say on the #Harboroughhour debate on Twitter on Wednesday night.
They said: “For me a larger store with bigger ranges is needed. For me I need a 24hr store due to my working arrangements.
“Sadly no store in Harborough can offer me this service. And surely the 200 new jobs will only be a benefit to the town?
“What else can you no with the Focus site? No independent would want a site that large. Best to have the site used.”
Meanwhile independent traders have - publically at least - expressed confidence that a new Tesco would not affect their busines..
Sean Basey, of Bates Butchers, in Church Square, told the Mail: “I don’t think it’ll affect us that much, people know the product that they get from here. If anything it’ll be out the way.”
And Kelly Odom, of Frutas, in High Street, added: “People see that we’re cheaper. It might affect us at the start like it did when Waitrose first opened but after that customers will come back.”
A note of caution was sounded by Duncan Murray however.
“I’m not into it at all,” he told the Mail.
“I can’t see why we need another. It would take out so much business from the town centre.”
Harborough Chamber of Trade and Commerce president Pete Whelan said: “In one respect the creation of 200 jobs in the town is a good thing. It will put extra money in local people’s pockets which will hopefully be spent in the town.
“I know it’s an out-of-town store but I’m not desperately concerned that will decimate the town centre.
“I think the diversity of the town centre is its strength.
“It’s not just the Tescos or Sainsbury’s of this world that draw shoppers here.
“The town has more to offer as a whole than one supermarket on the periphery.
“As long as Tesco keeps to its word and does not close the town centre store then I err on the side of viewing this as positive news.”