Wednesday 17 July 2019

Tesco invests €70m in stores as growth returns to Ireland

New €31m store to open in Liffey Valley as CEO targets Express expansion

Tesco Ireland chief executive Andrew Yaxley in the chain’s revamped Stillorgan outlet. Picture: David Conachy
Tesco Ireland chief executive Andrew Yaxley in the chain’s revamped Stillorgan outlet. Picture: David Conachy
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Tesco Ireland is investing €70m in its stores between this year and 2018, with €31m earmarked for a massive new shop in Liffey Valley.

In an interview with the Sunday Independent, Tesco Ireland chief executive Andrew Yaxley revealed that the company has embarked on the significant investment programme after returning the business to growth.

"You can only start to spend that investment when you've turned your core business around," he said.

"It's pointless building new stores or refitting stores when you haven't fixed your core."

"Testament to the fact we are moving forward on the journey is that we are going to spend €31m in Ireland developing a new shop," he added.

The new 'retail centre' in Liffey Valley will comprise a 60,000 sq ft Tesco store with five ground-floor retail units, a first-floor cafe and a number of kiosk units. It will employ 150 people and open in May.

During 2017 the company upgraded the produce section in more than 107 stores reflecting a focus on fresh food. In addition, 57 stores had major revamps including produce, beer, wine and spirits, hardware, and customer service, with a further 40 due to take place in 2018.

Yaxley joined Tesco Ireland in 2015 at a time when like-for-like sales were down 6.3pc. In October, Tesco Ireland reported a statutory like-for-like sales increase of 1.1pc and revenues of €1.23bn in the 26 weeks ending August 26.

In the second quarter like-for-like sales were up 2pc - its best quarter since its second quarter 2010.

The retail giant opened its first new shop in four years in Swords last May.

"The opening of a new store in Swords was one of my proudest moments," said Yaxley. "It was the first store we'd opened in around four years. As retailers, we like to open up shops and Swords marked a turning point, that we're back opening new stores."

Tesco Ireland now has 149 shops employing 14,000 people.

Yaxley said that while Ireland is one of the most competitive markets in Europe, he would like to see more openings here, particularly of the smaller Tesco Express format, aimed at the convenience market.

Tesco also continues to invest in its grocery home shopping business, which is seeing significant growth.

It also operates 19 click-and-collect sites and this month opened its first click-and-collect site in Kilkenny.

Sunday Indo Business

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