Costcutter has signed up a new franchise partner for Southern Ireland in a bid to fast track its store count in the Republic. Costcutter entered Southern Ireland in February 1998 but to date there are only 24 stores operating under the fascia. The franchise has previously been handled by Vantage Wholesale, but will now switch to Barry's of Mallow, which operates from a 100,000 sq ft distribution centre on the outskirts of Mallow, near Cork. Costcutter chairman and managing director Colin Graves said Barry's had expressed positive determination to build the Costcutter brand. He added: "We have 115 stores under the Costcutter fascia in Northern Ireland and although the south presents a different challenge, there is no reason why Barry's could not develop 100 stores." Barry's of Mallow currently services 30 supermarkets under the Emerald fascia of which nine are company owned and 110 c-stores trading as Quik-pick. The Emerald stores will be switched to the Costcutter fascia. {{NEWS }}