While independent retailers are throwing their collective weight behind the campaign to rein in the growth of the supermarkets, one major independent retailer has welcomed the arrival of a multiple on his doorstep.
Hugh Kennedy, MD of Northern Irish supermarket group Curley’s, claimed that sales had increased by 5% at its Kennedy Centre store in west Belfast since an Asda store opened at the site of an old Safeway in the neighbouring Westwood Centre last October.
Kennedy said interest in the Asda store had helped bring people into the area, from which Curley’s has also benefited.
“This is currently one of only two Asda stores in Belfast, so people have been attracted from all over the city. We have been able to convince them to try Curley’s as well, just by doing what we always do, offering lots of exciting promotions and staying as competitive on price as possible.”
Asda’s chief executive Andy Bond told staff in Northern Ireland recently that the Westwood store had been one of its most successful developments in the province.
Asda has submitted a planning application for a third store in Belfast, with a new development in the east of the city.
Meanwhile, Kennedy said Curley’s had been given the go ahead to begin work on its new 50,000 sq ft store, which will replace its west Belfast outlet.
Curley’s is ranked 16th in The Grocer’s Top 50 list of independent retailers, with annual sales of £56m.
Ronan Hegarty