Tesco has been given the green light to build Ireland’s biggest distribution centre, while arch rival Dunnes Stores is believed to be eyeing sites for its first such facility.
It is estimated that Tesco’s 700,000 sq ft king-size warehouse near Donabate in north Dublin will cost E70m.
But a spokesman said it may not be built immediately as the planning permission that has been granted is valid for five years and no firm timetable for construction has yet been set.
Tesco operates a distribution network of five centres in Dublin - three of which it owns - and the system will now be reviewed.
Compared to Ireland’s usual record on planning protests, the proposed centre created little stir. Initially, it was approved by the local Fingal council, but it was referred to the Planning Appeals Board when one local resident lodged an objection. He withdrew the objection following talks with the company and the official go-ahead was then given.
The centre is expected to help Tesco consolidate its dominant position in the E7bn Irish grocery sector. It currently has 91 stores and a 26% market share. Expansion plans include three new supermarkets to be opened in Tipperary later this year, another in New Ross, County Wexford, and an express store in Clane, County Kildare.
Tesco’s main local rival, Dunnes Stores, which has 100 outlets and a 22% market share, is also planning new openings. More significantly, it is reported to be examining sites for its first national distribution centre. Trade reports say the issue is being investigated by Eoin McGettigan, who joined Dunnes last year as food director.

Anthony Garvey
French cheese and dairy company Lactalis has acquired Italian cheesemaker Galbani from private equity owners BC Partners for an undisclosed sum, subject to approval. Galbani, which last year posted turnover of E3bn, produces mozarella, mascarpone and ricotta cheese under the Santa Lucia and Galbani brands.
French supermarket group Carrefour has reported a 7.1% increase in fourth-quarter sales to E23.3bn. Full-year sales increased 6.1% to E83.7bn. However, fourth-quarter sales for its French operations were largely flat, increasing by only 1.2% to E10.9bn.
Russian grocery retailer Pyaterochka’s subsidiary Agrostar has acquired a 26% stake in its franchise operator Ural-Agro-Torg, for 43.5m Russian roubles ($1.5m). Ural-Agro-Torg operates 29 stores in the Chelyabinsk region.
US food maker Sara Lee Corporation has acquired fresh bakery business Butter-Krust Baking for about $72m. Sara Lee said the acquisition would allow it to expand its fresh bakery brand and reach 20 million extra customers.
Baltika Breweries has announced plans to merge with fellow Russian brewers Pikra, Vena and Yarpivo. It said the merger would enable it to develop into the largest and most professional consumer goods business in Russia.
Drinks group SABMiller has said that cool and wet weather during December in South Africa meant it was only able to record a 1.8% increase in third-quarter lager sales. Year-to-date lager sales increased 4.5%. This did not include data from recently acquired Bavaria SA.
n Galbani buy-out
n Carrefour grows
n Russian moves
n Sara lee expands
n Baltika merger
n SAB blames rain