Some interesting points of view posted from the area being "cheap and cheerful" to the Co-op being a "rip off"...I personally feel the area generally is somewhere in-between with "a bit of both" thrown in for good measure.
When the Co-op opened its present store it was much bigger than most of the other supermarkets around and attracted people from miles around, however as other stores have become as big and bigger it has had to target a different market. Not so often are people visiting the Co-op from Kings Heath, West Heath, Longbridge, Selly Oak and Edgbaston to name a few places as they all have their own big supermarkets now, which has made the Co-op target the local convenience customer. Convenience stores, be they Co-op or any of the other names tend to be more expensive though i believe the Co-op compares favourably with others looking at their latest deals online, while also has taken to offering responsibly sourced goods and supporting British farm producers where possible.
While the area is more often than not "cheerful" i don't subscribe to the idea of it being necessarily "cheap"...although thats all relative to individual situations i suppose. There are many in the area of potential customers for local supermarkets that i would suggest have a decent disposable income, while others are struggling to make ends meet. In all my years of living in and around Stirchley i think very little has changed with regards to peoples individual requirements, although the loss of many fairly well paid jobs at local employers has forced a re-think for many.
Tesco have for many reasons lost the confidence of shoppers, including their somewhat less than straightforward selling practices and more locally land grabbing. It could be suggested that they would full fill a middle of the road requirement, however to make a big store pay would require pulling in shoppers from a wide area as the Co-op did in the past making for bad traffic management situation to become even worse (if thats possible after the council interference on Pershore Rd). The normal product range is priced at much the same as Sainsburys, Morrisons etc in my experience, which makes it unlikely to attract those buyers from other areas with those stores. Again in my experience, the value range is pretty poor making it just poor economy for many.
Lidl do offer an alternative. While they don't offer a huge range of products or the sort of incentive schemes and deals that other stores do, they do offer good products at discount prices which caters for "a bit of both." They are local to their planned customer base with a number of other shops not far away, so im assuming they are not wanting to lose their trade from say Kings Heath for example to Stirchley meaning less car miles.
I could go on but for fear of becoming boring
it just leaves me to say yes to Lidl....but as previously posted,preferably not at the expense of a leisure facility.