Tuesday 16 July 2019

Lidl opens door at Shankill centre

Shankill Shopping Centre
Shankill Shopping Centre

Mary Fogarty

Lidl has opened its doors in Shankill, 12 years after the closure of the shopping centre.

Lidl Ireland bought the site in October 2017 from the company Bilaro, which abandoned its plans to open a Maxima supermarket there.

Bilaro, linked to Lithuanian retailer Nerijus Numavicius had done a complete re-fit, since demolished and re-built by the current owners.

Most of the units were sold to Select Retail Holdings in 2007, with the departure of Supervalu.

The Maxima store was due to open in 2015 but the project came to an abrupt halt.

More than 100 people lost their jobs in Sulervalu and other smaller units. O'Donnell's pharmacy, a Chinese takeaway and a hairdresser remained at the site which was otherwise abandoned at the start of the downturn, leaving Shankill without a supermarket for over a decade.

Lidl received planning permission in 2017 for the store.

The centre now also includes Costa Coffee and O'Donnell's pharmacy. The store formally opened its doors last Thursday morning at 8 p.m., and fitness instructor Karl Henry of Operation Transformation performed the grand opening.

Members of the consortium involved in the 2005 takeover of the Superquinn chain had advised local people in 2007 that the a new Superquinn centre was planned for the site. However, plans stalled when Select Retail Holdings went into receivership. They were bought out of receivership by Musgraves in 2011. Bilaro bought the site during the economic downturn.

Bray People