WORK has started on the multi-million euro revamp of the Tescos store at the Dundalk Shopping Centre, with the supermarket giant promising that disruption for customers will be kept to a minimum.
When the remodelling is completed, the new store will be around 57,000 sqft and will be one of the of the jewels in the crown of Tesco's presence in Ireland.
The company intends that the Ramparts store will continue to operate and cater for customers for as long as the building work is being done ahead of the new shop opening in the summer of 2014.
And it is hoped that when it is completed, an additional 100 jobs will be created on the site, bringing the workforce to around 200.
Tesco spokesperson, Michael O'Sullivan, said the plans for the Dundalk investment has been 'in the pipeline for a long, long time' and the company was happy to get the preparatory work started.
He said: 'After the prep work has been done, we will be setting up a temporary store so that the rest of the building can be demolished and rebuilt on the same site'.
It is understood that the hardware and clothing section of the store will be moved over to grocery and Tesco will continue to trade at the Dundalk Shopping Centre until the new store is ready to open.
Mr O'Sullivan said minimal disruption to customers was at the heart of the company's plans and Tesco wants to keep the store trading 'the whole way through' the building work.
He said: 'It's not going to be an easy development as it's an existing site, but the more we can plan the work, the easier it will be.
'Hopefully customers will continue to be patient with us and we won't disrupt them too much.
'We are delighted it's moving ahead - it has been in the pipeline for a lot longer than most people realise and it's three years since the plans were first made public.
'We believe that the redevelopment is really going to help Dundalk town centre to be seen as the retail hub of the area and it's going to bring more people into the town centre'.