Maybe I'm not like other people, but I can't see how building a huge new John Lewis shop at Sprucefield can fail to take shoppers away from other, existing stores. Or am I missing something?
Is there a type of person out there who sits and waits, with lots of lolly under the mattress, for a particular shop to open and then descends on that store to spend spend spend?
If not, it stands to reason that rather than a new shop attracting new money, it simply takes money away from other places, does it not?
So a new John Lewis out near Lisburn is bound to impact negatively on Lisburn and Belfast shopping centres. People only buy a certain number of goods. They won't suddenly decide to purchase a new dinner set from John Lewis AND another one from Debenhams. It'll be either or.
Hard to see how a huge new complex can be justified then, in these days of low retail sales and shop closures. Where's the money going to come from?
Unless the 'fleg' protests result in huge new investment of new money. Then we might need a classy big department store for all that new wealth to be splurged on household essentials. Do John Lewis sell Union Jack settees?