Monday 30 November 2009

Christmas shopping in Bedminster

Look at this: the bike parking outside Asda, Bedminster, is full, with cyclists having to struggle to get their bicycles in an out of the six racks assigned to them.

This is the only bike parking on this side of the supermarket, the rest of area is dedicated to people who drive there.

It may seem a bit odd for a supermarket in a Cycling City to only have room for twelve bicycles and what appears to be thousands of cars. But consider this. Asda is owned by Walmart, the world's largest retailer. Do you seriously think that Walmart got so big by people cycling to the shops? Of course not. Their business model is built on bulk purchases, for which you need a car, ideally a proper 4x4.

Look more closely at the cyclists and compare them to the people making their way to and from the car park.

The cyclists: little bags, barely big enough to hold a snack. The car drivers: trolleys full of goods. Walmart's business model is based on high-volume low-margin sales, and cyclists bringing at most a rucksack just aren't buying enough food or other goods. These cyclists should be grateful that Asda has provided any parking, instead of turning this space over to support two more cars, especially on a busy weekend in the runup to Xmas.

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