Market Leads & Opportunities

Newry centre gets £3m boost as Lidl and Sports Direct get set to move in


Grocery retailer Lidl and Sports Direct are to open at Newry’s Buttercrane Centre in a combined investment worth an estimated £3m, it was announced today.It’s a reversal of fortune for the Co Down centre, which suffered two major blows following the closure of its Easons store and the decision by Marks & Spencer to relocate its flagship store to rival centre The Quays.Lidl plans to take a 25,000 sq ft unit in Buttercrane previously occupied by Easons, as well as part of the former M&S space.Sports Direct – which is moving from The Quays – will occupy a 22,500 sq ft unit across two floors in the remainder of the M&S unit.Both moves are subject to the retailers obtaining planning permission.As part of its plans, Lidl will close one of its two existing stores in Newry at Bagenals Castle.Since arriving in Northern Ireland in 1999, Lidl has opened 39 stores and its Newry move is part of a continued drive to replace its older stores with more modern premises.The estimated cost of replacing a standalone store with a new operation within a shopping centre is around £2m to £3m. Lidl also has another store at the city’s Damolly Retail Park.According to a spokesman, Buttercrane has 900 staff and makes an annual contribution to Newry’s economy of £13m.Commercial property agencies Lambert Smith Hampton and Cushman and Wakefield acted on behalf of Buttercrane. The centre is also managed by Lambert Smith Hampton.