Lidl to mark Dundonald return with new concept superstore
German supermarket chain Lidl is preparing to build its 39th store in Northern Ireland in a total investment of nearly £7m.
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It's set to demolish an existing building in Dundonald to make way for a brand new 'concept' food store on Dunlady Road.
The site, which already belongs to Lidl, has been leased to bargain retailer B&M since 2012.
A spokesman for B&M confirmed to Business Telegraph yesterday that it will close its Dundonald store on January 24, with the hope of relocating staff to other branches.
Lidl's plan to build a new large format store has already been recommended for approval by planning officials at Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.
Its planning committee was expected to formally sign off on the application last night.
The concept store will create around 20 jobs, with at least 40 people employed in the construction phase.
It's understood that the German firm's total investment in the site could reach almost £7m, with the new supermarket opening by the autumn.
It brings Lidl's store count closer to that of Northern Ireland's most dominant supermarket chain, Tesco, which has around 50.
Although its 5.8% market share is well behind Tesco's 35.3%, Lidl continues to be Northern Ireland's fastest-growing retailer, with sales rising by 9% last year.
The move by Lidl will see it return to Dundonald for the first time in almost eight years.
The supermarket chain first opened a store on Dunlady Road in 2002, but vacated the premises in August 2011.
It's understood B&M signed a five-year lease to take over the site in 2012.
Yesterday a spokesman from B&M said: "We can confirm that we our closing our Dundonald store on Thursday, January 24.
"Our colleagues are aware and we're working with them to relocate them in other nearby stores.
"We want to thank customers for shopping with us over the years and hope to see them in our other stores in the near future."
Lidl's new build 2,286 sq m store is expected to take on a similar design to other larger supermarkets it has opened around Northern Ireland.
It will put the retailer in direct competition with nearby Asda and Eurospar supermarkets in Dundonald.
In a statement yesterday, a spokesman for Lidl said: "As Northern Ireland's fastest-growing supermarket, we have embarked on a strategic and ambitious plan to increase our local footprint in the years ahead and we're delighted that our application has been approved by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.
"With 38 established stores, employing around 800 staff, we opened new concept stores in Magherafelt and Ballymoney in 2018 and we look forward to bringing our successful high quality, low price proposition to thousands of additional customers in the years ahead, investing further and adding new jobs."