Town’s SuperValu store set to close within weeks

Frank McPolin, outside SuperValu which he owned before it entered administration. �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1544-278EB
Frank McPolin, outside SuperValu which he owned before it entered administration. �Edward Byrne Photography INBL1544-278EB

SuperValu Banbridge is set to close in the next month as no buyer could be found after the store entered administration in November.

The store, on Newry Street, has been run by adminstrators for the past six months who have now made the decision to shut up shop.

Musgrave Group, which operates a number of retails businesses in Northern Ireland and Ireland including SuperValu, confirmed the closure.

A Musgrave spokesperson said: “Regretfully, SuperValu Banbridge will cease trading within the next 3-4 weeks. This store was owned and operated by an independent retailer and has been in administration for the last number of months.

“Despite efforts to find a new owner for the store, unfortunately this has not been possible and the administrator has made the decision to close the store.”

The closure of SuperValu is not set to affect the other businesses based in the premises on Newry Street.

The Post Office, Poundstretcher and Fit Banbridge, all based in the same building as Supervalu, have said it will be ‘business as usual’ for them.

A spokesperson for Poundstretcher said: “We will still be open to six as usual. There are no issues. Our sales are good.

“The parking will still be out the back and we hope we’ll still get our regular customers.”

SuperValu went into administration at the same time as Centra on the Lurgan Road, with both businesses owned by Frank McPolin at the time.

Mr McPolin spoke of his fears for Banbridge town centre last November.

He spoke out about the struggles businesses in the town centre face, particularly since Tesco opened a store at the Outlet, which he says has drawn people away from the town centre

He said: “Tesco already have a big store in the town. What was the need for a second store at the Outlet? That has taken footfall away from the town centre and our turnover has dropped by 30 per cent since it’s arrival. Its madness.”

Mr McPolin had also highlighted other factors that led to the demise of his business.

“It is a combination of things,” he said. “The rates went up by 30 per cent.

“There is a lack of parking in the town and my car park is always jam-packed full of cars who are not coming into the store. The traffic wardens are chasing people out of town.”