Sainsbury’s and M&S development: What’s in a name?

Did you get along to the exhibition about the plans for a new Sainsbury’s and M&S? Reservations about inviting even more traffic to the area aside, it all looks fine to me, and I like the developers’ ambitions to try to open up new routes to the riverside.

I do know one senior figure on Greenwich Council – Woolwich Riverside councillor John Fahy – has voiced reservations that further developing Charlton’s retail offerings could damage Woolwich town centre. He’s got a point, but that’s not stopped Greenwich Council before. Bearing in mind the first retail barns opened 30 years ago, and Asda was unveiled in 1984, that ship seems to have sailed away a long time ago.

But I do have one quibble. The name. Currently, the development has the working title of The Meridian Centre. But the meridian is in Greenwich, and this is in Charlton. So surely it should have a name which celebrates SE7, rather than clinging to the skirt of SE10? It’s bad enough having the “Greenwich Shopping Park” sat down the road.

But what, though? Most of the street names in the area have connections with the river – Gallions Road, Bugsbys Way, Derrick Gardens, Anchor & Hope Lane. Actually, the Anchor & Hope Centre could be nice, even if it sounds like the pub’s gained a huge extension. Or what about one of the big, long-gone riverside industries?

Maybe a celebration of the football club? Bartram Parade? The Valley Centre? The Sir Chris Powell Shopping Park?

I’m flailing around a bit here, but The Meridian Centre just doesn’t cut it for me. If you have any suggestions, share them here. This could be your chance to leave your mark.


11 thoughts on “Sainsbury’s and M&S development: What’s in a name?

  1. Matt October 25, 2011 / 15:20

    Agree, does sound a little boring. No doubt the car park will be used by match-goers so seems logical to associate it with the Valley.
    Here’s one for size: Bob Bolder Park, and then the landscaping would feature various rocks and large stones, yeah? Sorry.

  2. diamond geezer October 25, 2011 / 20:10

    For a development that’ll be more than a mile east of zero degrees longitude, The Meridian Centre is an appalling choice of name (no doubt dreamt up by a brainstorming brand guru, not a scientist). Almost any other title would be better.

  3. frostie October 25, 2011 / 21:15

    Why not just The Charlton Centre? Surely its core customer base will be people who live in the Greenwich/Charlton/Blackheath/Woolwich locales and all these people already know that the site is nowhere near the Meridian. Equally, they probably don’t give a flying fart that it doesn’t have an SE10 postcode: if the facilities suit people, they’ll use them. End of.

    I remember seeing a full-page advert for the ‘Greenwich Shopping Park’ a few months ago in one of the freebie mags and getting all excited that I’d missed a retail trick in Greenwich. On closer inspection, I realised it was the shops down my road, very clearly in Charlton.

  4. Gabriella Hudson October 26, 2011 / 09:02

    May be they should rebrand the whole complex along with the Greenwich Shopping Park, The Charlton Shopping Park.

    The Charlton Centre whilst an OK name puts me off as there is a Charlton Shopping Centre in Dover which never took off and ended up in housing, after the anchor Sainsburys closed after 12 years of trading and other chains closed too. I am sure they don’t want the same to happen to them.

    I think M and S will keep the Woolwich Outlet store but it will never become a mainstream store again.

  5. john Fahy October 27, 2011 / 08:25

    I found the Exhibition interesting although I have some concerns. No Environmental Impact study as yet. Seems to be no thought given to the high levels of traffic generated in the area. Out of Town Shopping Centres do impact on local Town Centres. Woolwich Town Centre will be hit and I remain to be convinced that the Outlet Store will continue. Many questions remain unanswered.

  6. Gabriella Hudson October 27, 2011 / 17:21

    I emailed M and S and they categorically denied any plans to close the store as it’s an outlet store.

    Which doesn’t really make sense as even though it’s an outlet store other outlet stores like Lewisham have modern signage and more modern fittings. Indeed, Lewisham has two floors, an outlet on the first and a main store on the ground floor. There is no intention of doing this at Woolwich or returning to a main store format. I can’t help but feel that this store will close long term as it must be one of their most tattiest stores in the M and S stores estate and in very close proximity to the proposed main store at Charlton. I do have concerns about traffic but I think on economic grounds this development will go ahead and no doubt the M and S woolwich site will be converted to another cheap store in the long term.

  7. john Fahy October 29, 2011 / 09:51

    I remain convinced that this development will impact on the neighbouring town centres. I agree that other developments were allowed which were wrong. We should learn from past mistakes.. I have long held the view that out of Town shopping has an impact on the life of Town Centres.

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