LISTOWEL'S largest store is considering moving out of the town centre.
McKenna's well known hardware store is currently looking at the option of relocating its Market Street retail store to the site of its builders' provisions premises on the John B Keane Road.
The move is being considered among a number of options the firm is currently looking at to improve its business into the future, The Kerryman has learned. However, no move is imminent, Market Street manager Paul Taylor said.
"The situation is that we are looking at it, but it is not imminent and it is one of many options available to us we have to look at in the course of our business," Mr Taylor explained.
The Kerryman understands that one of the factors informing the potential move is the ageing nature of the Market Street premises.
Speculation is rife in town this week that the historic store - with a Market Street presence in one guise or another since 1872 - is on the brink of a major move. No decision has been made to this effect, Mr Taylor emphasised.
Planning permission was obtained on the site of McKenna's builders' providers premises on the John B Keane Road - which is adjacent to the junction with the Ballybunion Road - for a retail store in recent years. That permission still exists and will form a major part of the company's plans for the future if it decides to move the retail side of the business out.
McKenna's would have to consider the future of the Market Street premises if a decision is taken to move, Mr Taylor said. "Because we're right in the middle of town it would leave a major premises with nothing in it and part of our plan would be to find another use for the premises," he added.
The business opened in number 3 Market Street in 1872 and now occupies numbers 1, 3 and 5, making it the largest shop in the town.
Like the entire retail sector, the business has suffered because of the recession, but the national move to digital broadcasting made for brisk trade there in recent months.
"Given the very bad weather this summer and the knock-on effect on farmers we're quite pleased with trade this summer and Saorview has kept us run off our feet," Mr Taylor added.