Retail News

Lidl NI to invest £32m & develop five new Belfast stores

From left, Drew McIvor, food business development manager at Invest Northern Ireland; Alan Barry, Executive director and director of property & construction at Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland; and Conor Boyle, regional director of Lidl Northern Ireland.

Lidl Northern Ireland has today revealed plans to invest more than £32m in five new state-of-the-art stores across Belfast, creating 100 jobs while supporting up to 1,000 jobs in the locality during the development and construction phases.

The region’s fastest-growing supermarket said the investment drive is part of a long-term plan to grow Lidl’s store network to 50 stores in Northern Ireland and provide a multi-million-pound boost for the region in order to bring its high quality offering and low prices to more shoppers in the Belfast city area.

An independent review of its operations published by Oxford Economics last year showed that Lidl Northern Ireland already contributes around £180m annually to the local economy and sustains more than 3,500 jobs.

The line-up of new stores will include locations in Castlereagh Road, Hillview Retail Park on Crumlin Road, Boucher Road, Holywood Exchange and Shore Road.

The state-of-the-art stores will each be around 2,100 square meters in size and are designed in line with Lidl Northern Ireland’s new ‘concept’ approach featuring a larger, modern and spacious fit-out with a significant emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds welcomed the company’s investment and commitment to the region and its ambitions for the future.

“I’m continually impressed by the increasing contribution which Lidl Northern Ireland continues to make to our economy, to local businesses and to our communities,” she said. “In just over two decades, it has grown exponentially, increasing employment and opportunities while working in close partnership with many of our home-grown food producers. I wish all the team every success on its renewed growth and on delivering its plans for the future.”

All of Lidl’s new stores are expected to open before the end of 2022, with the first due to open this Thursday at Holywood Exchange – bringing its region-wide store tally to 40. Lidl Northern Ireland opened its first store in Cookstown in 1999.

Alan Barry, director of property & construction for Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, said: “With more than 20 years of growth behind us, we are delighted to renew our commitment for growth into a new decade with a significant additional investment and new jobs created.

“Confirmation of our new store plans is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our colleagues and our high-quality, low-price proposition which has resonated so well and even more so in these challenging times.

“I’m delighted that by adding new stores at Boucher Road, Holywood Exchange and at Hillview Retail Park, and by expanding our footprint, we will be serving thousands of people in new communities in and around the city with the highest quality products at the best prices on the market.”

The retailer currently employs more than 1,000 people across its operations in Northern Ireland, including more than 200 in its regional distribution centre in Nutt’s Corner, Belfast.

Last month, Lidl Northern Ireland confirmed that it had raised more than £400,000 for NSPCC Northern Ireland as part of a longstanding charity partnership and pledged to raise £200,000 more by 2022. Last year, it invested £160,000 in 38 sporting organisations across the region as part of its Sport for Good programme.

The company buys around £300m worth of goods from Northern Ireland annually, much of which is for export to thousands of Lidl’s stores throughout Europe. It also supports local food producers through its Kick Start supplier development programme and has already helped to showcase quality Northern Irish products from more than 30 local suppliers to date.

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