Tesco investment to create 748 jobs

 

Tesco Ireland is to open seven new stores as part of a €113 million investment in the Republic which will create 748 jobs.

The grocery retailer, which already employs 13,400 staff across 120 outlets in the Republic, said the new stores would come on stream over the next 12 months.

The biggest of the new outlets is to be opened in Naas, Kildare and will employ 266 staff.

The rest of the jobs will come from new stores in Kinnegad, Westmeath (80 jobs), Oranmore, Galway (110), Swinford, Mayo (90), Ballybeg, Waterford (110), Thomas St, Dublin (16) and Kimmage, Dublin (16).

The investment plan also includes a replacement store in Roscrea, Tipperary that will result in 60 additional jobs.

Minister for Enterprise Batt O’Keeffe said the investment underpinned the company’s commitment to Ireland and added momentum to the Government’s economic recovery plan.

“The investment shows that this is not a jobless recovery. Our recovery is built on prudent Government fiscal and economic policies, indigenous entrepreneurship and continued investments from the multinational sector,” Mr O’Keeffe said.

The new jobs will generate local economic activity across the regions, as well as driving competition in the retail sector and offering convenience and choice to consumers, he added.

Tesco’s chief executive Tony Keohane the investment would benefit consumers and create jobs at a difficult time for the Irish economy. “There will be a significant boost in local employment in terms of 748 new jobs at a time when Ireland needs to get people into work,” he added.

However, the Irish Farmers' Association president John Bryan questioned the expansion plans by supermarket multiples "at a time of over capacity in the sector"

Mr Bryan said producers are not getting fair play in the food supply chain and rather than undertaking unnecessary capital investment, the multiples would be better off fixing this fundamental problem.

“I believe the over capacity of the sector is self-evident and that returns to the primary producer are being forced down in order to pay for the excess capacity and capital expenditure by the multiples.”

Mr Bryan said many small shops and convenience stores are struggling to compete as the multiples dominate and expand unabated and he questioned how many net jobs would be created from this expansion.

Earlier this year, Tesco Ireland said sales fell 7.5 per cent to €2.9 billion in the year to the end of February.

However, price cuts introduced in May were responsible for a 10 per cent growth in the number of transactions, the company claimed, with customers responding to its campaign by visiting Tesco in higher numbers.

Trading at the 11 Tesco stores in Border areas rose by an average of 33 per cent year-on-year, as the appeal of cross-Border shopping waned.