Tuesday 21 November 2017

Tesco in bid to halt Aldi Irish expansion

In December, Aldi announced another 400 new jobs through 20 new store openings. Photo: PA
In December, Aldi announced another 400 new jobs through 20 new store openings. Photo: PA

Gordon Deegan

The Irish arm of retail giant, Tesco has puts the brakes on further expansion by German discount retailer Aldi - for now.

It follows Tesco's appeal against a decision by Dublin City Council to give Dunmull Ltd the green light for a new Aldi store and a nursing home on the Malahide Rd at Clarehall in north Dublin.

The planning appeal by Tesco comes against the background of continued growth by the German firm in the multi-billion Irish retail market.

The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel show that Aldi has a 10.6pc share of the market compared to Tesco which has a 22.4pc share and is jostling for first place with SuperValu and Dunnes Stores.

In December, Aldi announced another 400 new jobs through 20 new store openings.

The new jobs are on top of the 3,200 it already employs here across its 128-strong store network with new store openings planned for Leixlip in Co Kildare and at Ennistymon in Co Clare.

However, a question has been put over Aldi opening a new store adjacent to the Clarehall District Centre on the Malahide Road.

In December 2015, An Bord Pleanála previously refused plans for an Aldi store following a successful appeal by Tesco. Tesco has also tried to block a number of Lidl stores at An Bord Pleanála level.

Tesco operates a store at the Clarehall shopping centre and in its fresh appeal to An Bord Pleanála, consultants for Tesco claim that the proposal does not accord with the zoning objective for the site as it does not provide a suitable mix of uses that will provide a benefit to the area.

The Tesco consultants also claim that the scheme does not accord with the potential of these lands to create an appropriate mixed use centre on the entire site, stating: "This is due to lack of density and poor integration with the surrounding area."

The consultants claim that the application, in its current form, does not achieve the level of development for this strategic site, is an inefficient use of the site.

They also say there is an issue of traffic conflict with cyclists and public transport.

The appeal states that Tesco supports the principle of providing additional competitive retail floorspace in Clarehall "however, we are concerned that the issues raised in our observations do not appear to have been adequately considered by the planning authority in their assessment".

A final decision on the appeal is due to be made in June of this year.

Irish Independent

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