Asda has run into difficulty in its bid to take control of the last remaining Safeway store in Northern Ireland.
The multiple bought 12 Northern Irish Safeway stores from Morrisons in July but did not take up its option for the Downpatrick store because of car park subsidence problems.
Last week the store was bought by John and Helen Miskelly who plan to lease it to Asda. However, as The Grocer went to press it appeared negotiations were not going well. An Asda spokesman said: “We are disappointed with the lack of progress.”
Neither John nor Helen Miskelly, who also own a petrol filling station in the area, were available for comment.
The major stumbling block still seems to be the subsidence. The store will be transferred to its new owners from Morrisons on November 19. If Asda does take control of the store it is unlikely to have it up and running by Christmas, the deadline for the rest of its estate in the province.
To date Asda has opened seven stores there.