Monday 4 May 2009

Tesco scales back its plans for Naas shopping centre

Tesco has sought planning permission for a scaled back shopping centre on land it owns on the Monread Road in Naas, Co Kildare. Tesco bought its 15-acre site there in 2004 for about €45m and subsequently secured planning for a shopping centre of more than 18,500 square metres. Last week however, it published plans for a 16,500 square metre shopping centre with nearly 900 car parking spaces at the site.

The development would see the construction of a Tesco store, 16 shops, an off-licence, medical centre and a community room. Tesco wants to build the scheme in two phases and wants planning if approved to be valid for 10 years.

The British supermarket giant that said last week it was considering rolling out pharmacies in its smaller stores and will look at doing so internationally. Tesco chief executive Terry Leahy has asked about using the format abroad but Ashley Hicks, Tesco's healthcare director told Retail Week that "the regulation is very different – but we will keep it on the long-term plan and not rule anything out".

A move into the Irish market would likely lead to cheaper prices for customers. It is known that An Bord Snip Nua, the cost cutting body headed by economist Colm McCarthy, is looking at reform of the pharmacy sector as part of its remit.

Tesco however is coming under sustained pressure to outline its plans to retain Irish produced goods in its stores here. The company has moved to purchasing ambient goods, everything from tinned soup to shampoo, via its UK head office as it looks to cut prices to alleviate the impact of cross-border shopping.

Sundau Tribune

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