Lidl to mark Dun­don­ald re­turn with new con­cept su­per­store

B&M will be de­mol­ished to make way for the premises

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - BY RYAN MCALEER

GER­MAN su­per­mar­ket chain Lidl is pre­par­ing to build its 39th store in North­ern Ire­land in a to­tal in­vest­ment of nearly £7m.

It’s set to de­mol­ish an ex­ist­ing build­ing in Dun­don­ald to make way for a brand new ‘con­cept’ food store on Dun­lady Road.

The site, which al­ready be­longs to Lidl, has been leased to bar­gain re­tailer B&M since 2012.

A spokesman for B&M confirmed to Busi­ness Tele­graph yes­ter­day that it will close its Dun­don­ald store on Jan­uary 24, with the hope of re­lo­cat­ing staff to other branches.

Lidl’s plan to build a new large for­mat store has al­ready been rec­om­mended for ap­proval by plan­ning of­fi­cials at Lis­burn and Castlereagh City Coun­cil.

Its plan­ning com­mit­tee was ex­pected to for­mally sign off on the ap­pli­ca­tion last night.

The con­cept store will cre­ate around 20 jobs, with at least 40 peo­ple em­ployed in the con­struc­tion phase.

It’s un­der­stood that the Ger­man firm’s to­tal in­vest­ment in the site could reach al­most £7m, with the new su­per­mar­ket open­ing by the au­tumn.

It brings Lidl’s store count closer to that of North­ern Ire­land’s most dom­i­nant su­per­mar­ket chain, Tesco, which has around 50.

Although its 5.8% mar­ket share is well be­hind Tesco’s 35.3%, Lidl con­tin­ues to be North­ern Ire­land’s fastest-grow­ing re­tailer, with sales ris­ing by 9% last year.

The move by Lidl will see it re­turn to Dun­don­ald for the first time in al­most eight years.

The su­per­mar­ket chain first opened a store on Dun­lady Road in 2002, but va­cated the premises in Au­gust 2011.

It’s un­der­stood B&M signed a five-year lease to take over the site in 2012.

Yes­ter­day a spokesman from B&M said: “We can con­firm that we our clos­ing our Dun­don­ald store on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 24.

“Our col­leagues are aware and we’re work­ing with them to re­lo­cate them in other nearby stores.

“We want to thank cus­tomers for shop­ping with us over the years and hope to see them in our other stores in the near fu­ture.”

Lidl’s new build 2,286 sq m store is ex­pected to take on a sim­i­lar de­sign to other larger su- per­mar­kets it has opened around North­ern Ire­land.

It will put the re­tailer in di­rect com­pe­ti­tion with nearby Asda and Eurospar su­per­mar­kets in Dun­don­ald.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, a spokesman for Lidl said: “As North­ern Ire­land’s fastest-grow­ing su­per­mar­ket, we have em­barked on a strate­gic and am­bi­tious plan to in­crease our lo­cal foot­print in the years ahead and we’re de­lighted that our ap­pli­ca­tion has been ap­proved by Lis­burn and Castlereagh City Coun­cil.

“With 38 es­tab­lished stores, em­ploy­ing around 800 staff, we opened new con­cept stores in Magher­afelt and Bal­ly­money in 2018 and we look for­ward to bring­ing our suc­cess­ful high qual­ity, low price propo­si­tion to thou­sands of ad­di­tional cus­tomers in the years ahead, in­vest­ing fur­ther and adding new jobs.”

Lidl is clos­ing in on 40 NI stores

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