German retailer Lidl plans to add more than 40 additional shops to its network in the Republic within the next five to seven years but it is not currently considering convenience store formats for Dublin city, according to its property director Alan Barry.
Lidl currently has 156 supermarkets in the State and an 11.9 per cent market share. It will reopen its store in Fortunestown, Tallaght, today following a multi-million euro refurbishment for a shop that closed in March after being raided and looted by locals during a snow storm.
Speaking to the Inside Business podcast in advance of the reopening of Fortunestown, Mr Barry said: "At the minute our ambition is to have 200 stores [in the Republic] but hopefully by the time we get to 200 our ambitions will have grown even larger. We have an ambition to continue to grow."
According to Mr Barry, about 1.5 million people in Ireland visit Lidl each week, spending on average between €20 and €30.
On the possibility of it opening convenience formats in Dublin city, Mr Barry said: “It’s vital for us that we don’t try to increase our market share to such a point that we reduce our efficiencies and we can’t offer the best price for our customers. It’s not something we’re overly aggressive on at the minute.”
Lidl is also adding other commercial units and residential accommodation on some of its sites, in response to demands from local authorities.
On its 436-unit student accommodation in Ballymun, Mr Barry said it would "build and develop" the site and then "sell to a user at the end". In Castleknock, where it has plans for six other retail units and eight apartments, Lidl will rent them.