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Tesco sparks outrage after launching new "Whitstable" collection despite town campaigns to protect independent businesses

Tesco has sparked outrage after launching a new "Whitstable" collection despite campaigns in the town to protect independent shops.

The supermarket giant has released an autumn range with furniture and homeware items bearing the town's name.

Products are described as bringing "coastal vibes" into the home but the mood is far from chilled in the town with the collection branded an insult.

Items in the Whitstable range have been described as "cool" and "rustic"

Business bosses say they are angered the town's brand has been hijacked by the chain despite a high-profile campaign against them.

In Decemeber 2012, protests took place outside the former Clinton Cards store after Tesco-backed coffee chain Harris and Hoole revealed plans to move in.

The former Clinton Cards shop was covered in anti-Tesco posters

President of the Whitstable Chamber of Commerce Brian Hitcham says he will write to Tesco about the range which has insulted local businesses.

He said: "I don't know whether it's the ultimate compliment or the ultimate insult!

"There's almost 200 items and from what I can see none of them relate to Whitstable.

Brian Hitcham, president of the Whitstable Chamber of Commerce, has seen major changes in his many years in the town

"People have battled against Tesco for years and for them to use our brand which people have worked hard to build up for 20 years is insulting

"It's obviously someone who has come here on a day trip, seen the publicity surrounding us and thought we'll name it that."

Tesco in Whitstable

Mr Hitcham suggested supermarket bosses should compensate Whitstable for using the town's name to attract business.

"If they gave us a percentage of their sales for using our brand which people worked hard to build for 20 years then maybe we could benefit out of it."

Tesco spokesman Annie Good says the products are proving popular with customers.

She said: "This range has been designed with the British seaside, including towns like Whitstable, in mind and it’s proving very popular with customers."

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