Sunday, 13 March 2016

The changing face of Chasseneuil.

Probably the last major change in the main street in Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieure (to give it its full name!) occurred when the town was by-passed about 15 years ago and the regional traffic, including countless massive lorries, travelling on the route between Angouleme and Limoges, was thankfully removed from the busy local scene! That was until 31 August last year, when Lidl started the contract to replace their local store. Basic, even by Lidl standards, with minimal parking, the old store was squeezed in between two larger buildings.
The Briconautes builder's merchants had been purchased and on that day, the demolition work began to enlarge the area available for a new Lidl store.

The official approval!

Taken on 28 September, this photo shows that the old store is still open, still bringing in customers and money, while the demolishers struggle with the  old reinforced concrete framed three storey builder's merchant premises next door.

The demolition site on the same date, showing that everything had gone except............

this bit!

On 11 October, with demolition done, the earthworks close to the main street was proceeding well. The benign weather was helping the contractor keep to his programme, as can be seen from the blue skies in these photos.

The scene on 2 November, showing that the old store had been demolished (it closed in late October) and the base hardcore for the new building and parking area already in place.

By 14 November, the building frame was already well advanced. Much of this was pre-cast and brought to site in sections.

Another shot on the same day, showing how much of the building is pre-fabricated for speed of construction!

This photo, almost 2 weeks later, on 25 November shows how much fill material had to be brought in to raise the levels of the car park at the back of the site.

By 7 December, still under sunny skies, work continued with the installation of insulation to the external walls. The new parking area is on the left.

By 30 January, the tarmac surfacing to the car park had been laid, and the shopfronts with automatic sliding doors were in place.

On the same day, a photo showing the part of the parking area to the front of the store. Parking spaces provided have increased dramatically. At the old store, there were perhaps 30, now it's more like 200 and most of them are occupied during trading hours by enthusiastic shoppers!

On 23 February, the day before opening, the signs were up and the whole site was full of workmen carrying out final testing and rectification of any defects.

24 February, opening day. A fairly new Lidl speciality, an on-site bakery! This will no doubt have an effect on the businesses of the 4 bakers already trading in the town.

A view of the checkouts, plenty in number and capacity but staff, as usual, busy working around the store! One checkout operates in quieter periods, but when there is a rush of customers, public address announcements give notice that additional tills are open. This procedure seems to work well and undue delays are avoided.


Decorative rough gravel paving next to the main street. Not very pretty, but its aim is to discourage people from walking on it, especially ladies in high heels!

The view today, showing the change in the streetscape - see first photo to compare! The opening of this new state of the art Lidl store has prompted the other major supermarket in town, just to the right of this shot, where the white arrow points, to raise its game and carry out its own store improvements!

26 comments:

  1. That is a big change for the town, and it sounds like a welcome one for you. I hope the 4 local bakers still get plenty of business.

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    1. Thanks Terra for your visit and comment. I suspect it will be more the English people that will go for the German bread but time will tell. The old Lidl will good for shopping but the new one is more updated. Have a good day Diane

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  2. Although it does look like a bright shiny new offers lots kind of store it certainly clashes with the rest of the architecture. Hope the local bakers can hang on.

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    1. GaelyniIt certainly clashes with the architecture but at least it is back from the road and when the trees grow..... The French will still go for their French bread I am sure but the English may change! Take care Diane

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  3. A great series of shots showing progress in motion. Enjoy your shopping.

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    1. Diane it is very good shopping there but you cannot do all your shopping, at least a quarter of our shopping list is not carried by them. They specialise in certain things, also being German a number of French will still not shop there! Some have long memories! T'other Diane

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  4. Interestingly our local Lidl in Chatellerault and the one in my home town of Clitheroe, Lancashire are both relatively new. Both are identical layout and you have to look at the prices to know which store you are in! Aldi have just built a new store in Chinon and one in Clitheroe and they are very similar layout. Standard Design and Construct.

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    1. I have never been an Aldi fan but as we have not got one close by.... Once Lidl have a satisfactory style I guess it is used world wide. I see the old one in Devizes is having a facelift but they are not rebuilding, so it will be interesting to see what happens there. I have to say I do like some of the Lidl products but you always have to finish off the shopping somewhere else. Hope you are both well Diane

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  5. Yes I imagine this brand new and beautiful store did prompt others in town to up their game. Like some of the other comments. I hope the local bakeries can hang on and still get their share of business. In small towns to me the local bakeries are the most charming. But I'm sure the residents of the town will indeed enjoy the nice parking and their beautiful new store.
    Sam
    Sam

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    1. Sam I am sure the French will continue with there baguettes and pain but the others in the community could well switch to Lidl. It is good for the other supermarket in town as it was looking a bit run down!!! Hopefully it will have a facelift. Lidl was always busy before, but the German bread is an advantage which I have to admit to liking. Hope you are well Diane

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  6. Great before, during and after shots! It looks like you had the same mild winter we had (which is why we were able to get our house rebuilt after the fire). I hope the other market upgrades as nicely, because that will be a benefit to the entire town. And while having the in-store bakery will be attractive to shoppers, I bet that it will not steal much business from the traditional bakeries, whose wares will probably be superior.

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    1. The mild winter certainly kept things on track but we have had a huge amount of rain. The traditional boulangeries will still have the support of the French, but the other people living here may well make a change to German breads. I have to admit to being very fond of them! Hope all is well with you now Diane

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  7. Hope the modernisation of the supermarket does not affect the town too much, especially those small bakers. We have a large Lidl being constructed just up the road to us. I don't think we need anymore supermarkets though. One in each town is enough, I think, and that is what we have at the moment. Good photos of the Lidl store being built though!

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    1. We have two small supermarkets here before Lidl, one of which is never busy. They still need to be used as Lidl stock is limited to certain lines. Our main supermarket, Leclerc is in the next town and will still be our favourite shopping place for most things. We have always had a Lidl in town but this is now very much more upmarket. The weather at last seems to be improving, keep well Diane

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  8. Wow, that went up very quickly and it so nice and new and bright. It is wonderful to have all the variety a supermarket can offer but it does change the life and I do like the slower pace and personal touch afforded by smaller shops.

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    1. Joyful, I think the smaller shops will always have a place here in our small town, but I do like having Lidl as it means we can get some imported items, whereas the French shops are pretty much all French or not at all. I hope this finds you well Diane

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    2. Hi Diane, I understand what you mean about getting imported items especially when England takes awhile to get back to and you can't always bring everything you want back to France with you. I'm glad to hear that the supermarket will not entirely replace the small shops. Unfortunately where I live it usually means the small shops around do not survive. I'm well and I hope you are too! I just found your recipe site. I didn't realize you have so many blogs. It must keep you very busy. Enjoy your Easter weekend.

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  9. Oh I wish we had a Lidl a bit nearer to us, our nearest is half hour away. Your new store looks great and that's the biggest Lidl bakery I've seen.

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    1. Kerry I must say I like Lidl and this one is much bigger and better than the last one. I am also very fond of German bread :-) It might also get the the other supermarkets to up their standard! Hope all is well Diane xx

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  10. Hi Diane - I've been up in freezing cold sunny London! And knew I needed time to get here and comment ... I get to know the area a little - as I check out Gmaps to get my geographical brain going or trying to.

    I've never much liked Lidl - though people swear by it - thankfully ours is on the other side of town - and they've built a new one (also over the other side) ... near a bad set of roads with the level crossing railway line - so going that way will not be a good route any more.

    It's sad to put the artisans out of business, or reduce their takings .. .and to change the face of the town with ghastly prefab buildings ... and ready made food ... not my scene!

    I see you approve though ... I don't eat bread ... so I guess that helps my disapproval rating of Lidl!! However I can see the imported items must help and give you different flavours ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary we do not buy ready made meals, and few French people would. Mostly every one cooks their own food here, other than if they go out for a meal. Lidl has excellent fresh vegetables and generally much cheaper than the bigger supermarkets. Again though many people out of town (as we do) grow all their own vegetables.

      As for the bread, we have always loved German rye bread, which is what we bought in RSA and it will always be a favourite with us. The French will undoubtedly still have their baguette or pain from a specialised boulangerie, which we will also do if entertaining.

      Also buying imported wine in France is very difficult. I personally do not like Bordeaux red wine at all which is what is mostly available in our area. It is a pleasure to be able to go and buy South African and Californian wines, both of which I like, at very competitive prices in Lidl.

      It has a lot going for it, but not a place where you can do you weekly shop without going to somewhere else to buy the general run of the mill items. It is certainly very popular here, and the new shop with the landscaping, once it grows, will certainly not be an eyesore. It is on the edge of town so does not interrupt the main French architectural buildings. Have a good week Diane

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  11. I'm sure that having a larger store with more variety is a good thing. It will also probably bring more people into town and that should help some businesses and yet hurt others. I guess that is what some people call progress and it can't be avoided. I just wish more thought was put into design so that new building in an area, no matter where in the world they are, would fit into the local landscape better. One thing...I know I like is German bread and French bread and pastries so if I lived there my business would go to all of them. :)

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    1. Karen it is much better looking than the old store and the landscaping once grown will make it quite attractive. As I said in the above reply, it is on the edge of town so does not interrupt the main French architectural buildings.

      It is a change to be able to buy imported goods at competitive prices. I am happy to support French goods, but some I do not like as in Bordeaux Red wines!!! Also to me nothing can beat German herb bread or rye bread :-) and it keep so much better as well! Take care and have a good week Diane

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  12. Hi Diane, hope you are well :)
    Lidl are sprouting up everywhere, we have quite a few of them around here too. Hope the local bakers don't lose too much trade.

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    1. Ellie we have always had a Lidl here but this is bigger and better. It seems very popular. We went there this morning and the car park was full. Intermarche had about a dozen cars but they appear to have got the message and they are updating things. Hope it is not too late. I hope the bakers will survive, thier bread is different so guess they might. Diane

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  13. "Lidl" did not last for long here in Stavanger.

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