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Every little helps: Tesco to create 522 new jobs

Retail giant Tesco is to create over 500 new jobs between now and next June as part of an overall €120m investment.

The company has already employed 235 people earlier this year bringing the total employment level to 757.

Under the retailer's investment plans for the next year, the money will be spent redeveloping and opening new stores and hiring 522 new staff.

The retailer , which already employs 13,500 people, will open four new supermarkets, as well seven Express stores across the country.

266 jobs will be created in Naas, 110 each in Galway and Waterford, 90 in Mayo, 80 in Westmeath and 60 in Tipperary.

The other jobs will be created at two locations in Dublin.

Earlier this year, Tesco said its sales fell in the year to the end of February by 7.5pc to €2.9bn due to lower prices.

It is the world's third biggest retailer and has 119 Irish stores.

Tesco Ireland Chief Executive Tony Keohane said the investment 'would benefit consumers and create jobs at a difficult time for Ireland's economy.'

Minister for Enterprise , Richard Bruton, said the 'investment today underpins the company's commitment to Ireland.'

However, the Irish Farmers' Association has questioned Tesco's expansion plans at, what it calls, a time of overcapacity in the sector.

IFA President John Bryan also queried the correctness of expansion plans by supermarket multiples until the code of practice for the retail sector is in place to ensure fair play for producers.

The IFA President said producers are not getting fair play in the food supply chain and rather than undertaking unnecessary capital investment, the multiples would be better off fixing this fundamental problem.

Mr Bryan said the over capacity of the sector is self-evident and returns to the primary producer are being forced down in order to pay for the excess capacity and capital expenditure by the multiples.

He said many small shops and convenience stores are struggling to compete as the multiples dominate and expand unabated and he questioned how many net jobs would be created from this expansion.

Mr Bryan said the Government and the EU Commission must accelerate their plans to regulate the sector as the multiples continue to take more profit out of the food supply chain.