The battle for control of Northern Ireland’s c-store market is heating up this month.
Tesco is set to open its second Express store in the province on Monday (November 14) and Martin Agnew, MD of Henderson Wholesale, which supplies the Spar and Vivo stores, said he was relishing the fight.
Tesco Express is due to open on Belfast’s Saintfield Road. The nearest Spar store at Brackenvale on the same road has just completed a major extension bringing the forecourt up to 6,000 sq ft from 4,500 sq ft.
Agnew said that Spar had a good track record when facing Tesco Express. “The first of these stores opened last August next to one of our company-owned stores in Belfast and we have nevertheless grown sales.”
The extension will create more room for hot food, food to go, fresh and dairy.
Agnew said that Hendersons planned to step up its focus on developing larger stores. It plans to open a further six small supermarkets in the next 18 months. Five of these will come under the Eurospar branding while it plans to open its second VivoXtra store early next year in west Belfast.