Belfast Telegraph

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8. Sainsbury's (in NI)

NI Operations Manager: Nigel Macaulay

Employment: 2,900

Turnover: £380m (est)

Pre-tax profit: n/a

Sainsbury’s has, over the last number of years, continued to expand its portfolio of stores in Northern Ireland.

Since opening its first store here nearly 15 years ago, it now has 12 supermarkets in the province. Three planned additional sites are set to bring this total to 15 in the near future.

One of the biggest new-build stores by the retailer anywhere in the UK in a decade opened in September 2009 at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast.

The new outlet created around 100 checkout, shop floor and supervisory positions, while staff at the existing Curley’s shop on the site were all offered transfers to Sainsbury’s.

A new food-only store opened in Carrickfergus in November 2009 while early in 2010, the Newry store underwent a £5m refurbishment.

There are currently three new stores in the planning system in Bangor, Dundonald and Londonderry, with Ballymena set to commence a £5m investment in the second quarter of 2011.

The Bangor store alone is expected to create up to 350 jobs, as well as employment for construction workers when work commences at the Balloo Retail Park site.

Planning permission for the 60,000 sq ft Bangor Sainsbury’s was granted earlier this year.

Existing buildings and structures on the site will be demolished and the construction will take place on a new retail store, extension and reconfiguration of the existing retail warehouse unit — which currently houses a Homebase store — and garden centre.

Up to 1,000 new jobs could be created over the next couple of years as a result of the expansion.

Sainsbury’s says it is also committed to home-grown produce, currently sourcing more than £250m worth of products from 100 suppliers in Northern Ireland.

Early last year, the supermarket chain appointed a new head of Northern Ireland operations for the first time.

Neil Chason, a former regional operations manager in the North East of England, took up the same role for Northern Ireland.

He replaced David Davidson, who retained responsibility for stores in Scotland.

Chason joined Sainsbury’s in 1981. He was deputy operations manager in Manchester and Lancashire in 2002 and Loss Prevention Manager for Northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland between 2003 and 2004. Nigel Macauley has now taken over the role.

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Belfast Telegraph


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