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Petition for cheaper supermarket shopping

The Tesco store in Lerwick is one of two supermarkets in the town alongside the Co-op.

AN ONLINE petition has been launched calling for cheaper supermarket shopping in Shetland and more choice locally when it comes to buying groceries.

A petition due to be sent to Shetland Islands Council (SIC) called ‘Allow Lerwick to have an Aldi, Asda, Farmfoods or Lidl’ had gained over 240 signatures by Friday lunchtime.

It says that some people cannot afford to buy from existing supermarkets Tesco and Co-op, as well as the local retailers, and that a “more affordable way to shop” in Shetland would be welcomed.

“Is it not time that we had the chance to have stores the likes of Aldi, Asda, Farmfoods or Lidl on the island. Please do what you can,” petition creator Ross Grant wrote.

In response to the wording of the petition, a spokesperson for the SIC reiterated that the council is not stopping any businesses from opening premises in the isles.

“Any application received would be processed by the planning service in the usual manner,” they said.

Rumours that supermarkets like Lidl or Aldi are keen to open a store in Lerwick have often surfaced, but they have not come to fruition.

One respondent to the petition said that the prices of food in Shetland were “ridiculous” and added that the cost of trying to provide a healthy, well-balanced meal for a family of five was “shocking”.

Another said that “competition between the sellers is healthy for the Shetland economy to keep prices down”.

One of the petition’s backers said that “having shopped in Lidl in Orkney I have been amazed at how much cheaper the products are”.

A spokesperson for Aldi said: “We are always considering new locations for stores across Scotland, including the Shetland Islands, and welcome being made aware of suitable sites as they become available.”

Lidl, meanwhile, said it has no plans to bring a store to Shetland.