EXCITED traders, residents and shoppers in Caldicot have said they are pleased with the news Aldi is planning on moving into the premises soon to be vacated by Waitrose in the town centre.

In September Waitrose announced its branch in the Wesley Buildings on Newport Road would be closing on Sunday, December 6, due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time traders – including Cathy Edwards, who closed her shop Country Flowers during the first lockdown and has moved it online – said the announcement was “another big blow for the town” which was struggling well before the pandemic.

But now Aldi has announced – pending discussions with Monmouthshire council – that it is planning on taking over the running of the building by Christmas 2021.

“It’s good news that a national chain is replacing Waitrose, I think it will be important in attracting more people to the town,” said Ms Edwards.

“My only concern is that independent traders could have to leave the town centre if everyone shops in Aldi and Asda. We had to leave for that reason – people were buying their flowers in the supermarkets and there was no need for us to have a presence there.

South Wales Argus:

Waitrose on Newport Road, which is soon to be replaced by Aldi

“I’d like people to remember that independent stores are at the heart of the high street.”

Leader of Caldicot Town Team Aaron Reeks organised the town’s Totally Locally Fiver Fest in October – a fortnight where independent traders could offer goods for £5 in an attempt to gain much - and said the news marked an “exciting opportunity” for independents.

“I believe traders can reap the rewards of this news if they can diversify to cater for Aldi shoppers,” he said.


“Aldi caters to a wider demographic than Waitrose, and I think this is a real opportunity for Caldicot to bring in shoppers from Chepstow and other surrounding areas.”

The closest Aldi store is 10 miles away in Newport.

Resident Richard Hammond, who said he never shopped in Waitrose, said he will visit the town centre more to shop at Aldi.

“Caldicot has been needing something like an Aldi or Lidl for a long time,” he said. “The town has had a big fall in shoppers for years, and the Tuesday and Saturday market gets smaller and smaller.

South Wales Argus:

Cathy Edwards (L) and Diane Clough outside County Flowers, which closed during the pandemic

“I think this will bring shoppers back to the town. It’s something people can afford.”

Councillor for Caldicot Castle Jo Watkins said: “I welcome this news, it would have been devastating for the town centre to have such a large empty unit.

“I hope having Aldi in the town will encourage more people to use Caldicot town centre and its shops, and encourage new businesses to set up in the town centre as well.

“I hope the wonderfully helpful and efficient staff in Waitrose will be given the opportunity to apply for new jobs within Aldi. We all need to support our town centre and shop local.”

Long-time trader Jill Waters, who owns Caldicot Pet Supplies, said she will miss Waitrose and what it brought to the town, but agreed it is positive news.

“It’s an opportunity for us to have more shoppers than we’ve had for a long time here,” she said. “I just wish it was sooner – I was disappointed when I saw it wouldn’t be open for another year.”

Cllr Bob Greenland, Monmouthshire Council's cabinet member for Innovation and Enterprise, added: “We were very disappointed to hear the news that Waitrose was leaving Caldicot. Town centre supermarkets are important, bringing in high volumes of shoppers and providing important local jobs.

“The news that Aldi is to come to the town is welcome. They will bring the footfall that is necessary to the vibrancy of the town and will provide some vital jobs. What we need now is to ensure that the offering from our great independent shops will bring Aldi customers into the heart of the town.’’