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KFC entry triggers fury on famous street

RECESSION
A new KFC branch will open up in Sydney’s popular Newtown district. Picture: NewsWire/ Gaye Gerard

Locals in Sydney’s hip Newtown suburb are clucking with anger over the prospect of a KFC restaurant for the district’s famous King St strip, warning the beloved American fried chicken franchise could take away from the “character” of the area and degrade the earning power of rival retailers.

King St, which snakes through Newtown from The University of Sydney to Newtown station, boasts a suite of small multicultural eateries from Thai joints to Italian restaurants.

A KFC is proposed for a vacant storefront that used to house the Kammadhenu Indian restaurant despite the area already hosting several chicken eateries.

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Gami Chicken and Beer manager Adnan Khalid told A Current Affair that KFC could push out the “little guys” by exploiting its large-scale operation to undercut local prices.

Gami managing director Adnan Khalid said a KFC restaurant in Newtown could push out the ‘little guys’. Picture: A Current Affair
Gami managing director Adnan Khalid said a KFC restaurant in Newtown could push out the ‘little guys’. Picture: A Current Affair
CHICKEN WARS NEWTOWN
There are already a plethora of chicken shops on Newtown’s King St, including Clem’s. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

“Because they are so big … they can buy in big numbers and drop their prices, get the customer hooked up and then all of a sudden the little guy, they get him out and then their prices go up,” he said.

Newtown teenager Oscar Bartik, meanwhile, told The Daily Telegraph that KFC’s entry could degrade King St’s character.

“We’ve already got plenty of chicken shops around,” he said.

“I’ve noticed in recent years that local businesses are actually struggling and competing with these conglomerates. I feel like there’s a lot of local businesses that have shut down in recent years and a lot of empty shops. It’s concerning because it’s stripping away King St’s culture.”

KFC’s Newtown plans. Picture: Supplied
KFC’s Newtown plans. Picture: Supplied
CHICKEN WARS NEWTOWN
King St is one of Sydney’s multicultural jewels. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

Advertising executive Karen Ferry, talking with ACA, said KFC had likely chosen Newtown for clear business reasons.

“What KFC was probably thinking is there are a lot of people who obviously are sustaining these (restaurant) brands, so they’re just making a market that is essentially more competitive and trying to take away customers from these other five venues,” she said.

“Shops like KFC do want to look at areas like that where they can get people who are searching for that dirty bird at 2am.”

KFC has been contacted for a response.