The Asda store on Lavender Hill re-opened today as ‘Asda Clapham Junction Battersea’ in response to the SW11tch campaign to make sure the area is properly named.
Asda was one of the biggest offenders (Wal-Mart is the world’s largest company). So it’s a real coup for the campaigners to get them to recognise where they live.
A common question is ‘why is it important’? I think there are two answers.
First, you need to know where you are! When Waitrose announced they had bought some Woolworth’s stores and would be opening new shops there was a real buzz on a Clapham web-forum. Until, that is, they realised that Waitrose had made a mistake, and were moving to Battersea, not Clapham High Street.
But the second issue is branding. Wal-mart do not allow each Asda store to create their own brand, perhaps focusing on different products, or creating their own logo. It is important to have a distinctive brand that people recognise and can trust, especially when times are hard. And it’s no less important for Battersea to have it’s own brand, so people know where and what it is – a high quality, diverse and distinctive destination.