I had a response from Asda following my complaint about them branding their Lavender Hill store ‘Clapham’.
Thank you for contacting ASDA about the name we have given to our ASDA Clapham store.
I’m sorry to learn of your disappointment at ASDA naming the store Clapham instead of Battersea. I can assure you ASDA welcome all customers, whatever there background. We certainly don’t want to offend anyone with the name of the store.
Having spoke to the General Store Manager, he confirmed the store is in Clapham, this is the reasoning for the name of the store. Also if we were to change the name of the store it would lose it’s identity in the local area.
Again, I’m sorry to hear of your disappointment, I hope all your points have been covered in this email. If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.
ASDA Service Team
I only moved to Battersea 13 (fourteen, if you round up) years ago so I’m quite happy to admit I’ve been wrong all this time and have somehow fooled myself into…
Hold it. No. Of course I’m not wrong. Even as a relative newcomer I have seen enough evidence, both objective and subjective, to know I live in Battersea and the Asda store is in Battersea. Of course areas change, but not at the whim of one person (unless Wal-mart have staged a coup d’etat I missed and their manager is now some sort of regional governor). I could pretend I’m typing this in Manhattan. Or on the moon. But that doesn’t make it so.
I will be replying to Asda, but decided to hold off my reply to calm a little. The odd thing is that the more time passes the angrier I get about Asda’s attitude.
I’d love to know the manager’s connection with the area prior to managing the store. Very often in retail the managers (because of the nature of their career progression) manage stores some distance from their home – this is particularly true in London where moving can be expensive. But even putting that aside…
Has he had a chat with one of my neighbours who obviously mistakenly believes she has lived in Battersea for the best part of 80 years – all that time a few hundreds yards from the store (or the railway yard that preceded it).
Or perhaps he’s raised it with the council, who – in 2008 – mistakenly passed a motion that highlighted SW11 is Battersea (opens PDF).
I’m sure he’s popped into the Royal Mail delivery office next door to the store and told them how wrong they are to call themselves the Battersea Office. And while he was at it had a word with Battersea Library and Battersea Arts Centre. I can only imagine how foolish they must all have felt having the wrong names all these years.
And I’m sure they’ve had a chat with their press office and the previous store manager. Pointing out their total ignorance when in 2008 they changed the name of the store to reflect it’s true location of Clapham Junction, Battersea.