Lidl chief executive in NI 'thrilled' with sales
Discount grocer Lidl has reported sales of £278.2m in Northern Ireland.
It also had pre-tax profits of £2.1m for the financial year March 2019 to February 2020.
The company, which has 40 stores in NI, is publishing full financial details of its business here for the first time.
While in fourth position for grocery sales in the marketplace here - behind Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda - its sale have been growing at a faster rate than its competitors.
According to retail monitor Kantar, it has a market share of 6.4% here, but had grown its sales by 19.7% over the last year.
Lidl has around 1,000 staff in NI, and recently opened its 40th store here at Holywood Exchange outside Belfast.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Ireland chief executive JP Scally said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the sales in NI.
“We’re the fastest-growing retailer across NI for a number of years at this stage and that continues into this financial year for us as well.
“We’re particularly proud of the team on the ground in NI who have developed the business singnficantly over the last number of years.”
But he added: “We see still huge opportunity for growth. According to Kantar, we’re at 6.4% of the market in NI, which means there’s about 94% of the market we don’t have, and that I suppose feeds into our ambitions for our growth by investing in our store network and additional stores being added on.”
He said Lidl NI had been established as a limited company as part of an “abundance of caution” to prepare for Brexit.
And he said the company had not seen the gaps in its shelves which had hit other supermarkets following the end of the transition period and the introduction of the NI Protocol introducing checks on animal-based food products coming into NI from Great Britain.
Instead, he said the company had reoriented its supply chain away from using the UK as a route into the island of Ireland from continental Europe.