STRABANE’S retail landscape could be in for a major overhaul after Lidl confirmed it now controls a large part of the town centre.
In what is believed to have been a multi-million pound deal, the German company recently bought Strabane Shopping Park, which currently incorporates Argos, New Look, Peacocks and Menarys.
It was further revealed this week that Lidl has also “agreed contractual terms” for a neighbouring site, understood to be that of the recently re-established Pat Kirk Motors, following the vendor’s move from Railway Street. This site it is suggested, could facilitate the creation of up to three new independent retail units.
Although declining to divulge how much money the company paid for Strabane Shopping Park, the asking price for the strip of outlets had previously been beyond £3million. The Chronicle also understands that Lidl’s long-term plans involved the founding of a flagship store on this very site.
Currently based on Bradley Way, the supermarket chain is now looking to “unlock the wider potential of the sites acquired.”
Lidl NI director Conor Boyle said Strabane was key to its strategic growth, investment and regeneration plans in Northern Ireland.
“We have been committed to the area since we opened our first store at Bradley Way and we’re excited about Strabane Shopping Park’s inherent potential and its location close to the town centre.
“Supported by a strong local and regional team, we’re confident that investment plans and ambitions for the site, and the additional adjacent land, will stimulate further economic growth for local communities, the town and the area.”
Employing more than 750 staff across 38 stores, Lidl is Northern Ireland’s fastest-growing food retailer and it says it is staunchly committed to supporting local communities, local producers and the environment.
Since Lidl launched its Community Works initiative, it has raised thousands of pounds in funding and provided practical help to more than 700 community groups and charities, including New Horizons Partnership and Sure Start in Strabane.