Growing retail market in Maynooth attracts the big players


RetailMarket: The opening of the Manor Mills Shopping Centre this week is a sure sign that competition for Maynooth's retail trade is set to intensify, writes Jack Fagan

Dunnes Stores is going head-to-head once again with Tesco by moving into Manor Mills Shopping Centre in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

The new complex, built on the former Kavanagh Mill site, opened for business yesterday.

Tesco acquired the former O'Briens supermarket on the edge of the village in the early 1990s and five years ago opened a new supermarket on the site. It later acquired the adjoining cattle market land of over 10 acres, part of which is now used as a surface car-park and a petrol filling station.

Local sources say that the the multiple is now likely to build yet another large food store on the site and use the present building for sales of fashion and household goods.

The new Dunnes Stores is better located in the town centre where it is operating a well stocked supermarket as well as a department store out of a unit of 6,600sq m (71,000sq ft).

Dunnes is trading alongside 30 other shops, two restaurants, a bar and a gym in the 15,000sq m (161,460sq ft) centre which has been bought as a long term investment by private clients of Davy's.

The opening of the centre is expected to lead to intense competition in the supermarket sector.

Super Valu is already based in the Glenroyal shopping centre close by and Centra has a food outlet on the main street.

Aldi is trading immediately beside the new Manor Mills and the other German discounter Lidl is building a new outlet close to the intersection of the M4 motorway.

Maynooth's population of 13,000 - much of it linked to the local college and university - is expected to grow to over 20,000 within four years.

The new shopping facilities in Maynooth are also likely to be used heavily by families living in Kilcock, three miles away. There, the populatioof 3,000 is on target to grow to over 10,000 within five years.

Also trading alongside Dunnes in the new centre are Easons, Sasha, Mexx Kids, Carphone Warehouse, Hickey's Pharmacies, Cantec Computers, Shanique Ladieswear, No Name, Tally Weijl, Divine, Zeba Hairdressing, Esquires Coffee House and Bernard John Jewellers.

First visitors to Manor Mills yesterday were generally impressed by the layout and style, particularly a glazed central atrium which leads on to a boardwalk overlooking the River Lyreen and the historical grounds of Maynooth Castle.

Retail lettings in the centre were handled by Bannon Commercial.