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Asda's new £35m store turns up the heat on supermarket rivals

By Symon Ross

Published 07/06/2010

Supermarket giant Asda will today open its new £35m store in Larne, creating a major employment boost for the area.

The new supermarket follows hard on the heels of Asda's flagship store at Antrim's Junction One retail park, which opened last month.

The retailer said that its Larne outlet has created 200 permanent and part-time positions in the area - adding to the 4,500 staff the company already has in Northern Ireland.

The new 24,000 sq ft store will feature Asda's popular George fashion range and a McGee's Butchers counter, as well as parking for 300 cars.

Its opening is part of a major push by Asda to claim market share from rivals Sainsbury's and Tesco in Northern Ireland.

Larne is the 16th store the company has opened in the province, including one under its homeware brand Asda Living.

It is set to open another supermarket on the Crumlin Road later this year.

The Larne store will be opened by charity worker Eleanor Greenlee, voted by locals as deserving to be a 'celebrity' for the day and the right person to officially perform the opening ceremony. Store manager Geoff Murphy will be joined at the event by local MPs, councillors and MLAs, many of whom played a role in bringing Asda to the town.

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