Discounter Aldi has faced a string of objections over planned new store developments in the Irish market in recent years, accusing rival retailers including Tesco and SuperValu of using said objections to “deny consumers access to choice and competition in their local communities”.
A study undertaken by The Irish Times found that over the past four year period, the German discounter has submitted 33 planning applications for new retail outlets, which in turn have led to 35 formal objections from rival retailers.
Aldi told the paper that it has been subject to “resistance and obstruction from other retailers” as it seeks to implement a €100 million store expansion plan across the Republic of Ireland.
It also accused "repeat objectors" of allegedly hampering jobs growth.
Individual SuperValu stores around Ireland were found to have made objections to new Aldi developments in more than ten cases, in locations including Bray, Co. Wicklow, Baileborough, Co. Cavan, and Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.
The brand's parent company, Musgrave Group, told the paper that it does “not have a [group] wide policy with regards to planning permissions across our network”.
Tesco Ireland was found to have objected to some 16 proposed Aldi developments, mainly around the Leinster and greater Dublin area.
Many of the objections are personally signed by RGDATA, a group that represents the interests of independent retailers. Its director general, Tara Buckley, told The Irish Times that it 'regularly' objects to planning applications by both Aldi and Lidl.
"The discounters often apply for edge-of-town locations where people cannot walk to, which can be against guidelines," she told the paper. “We have a clear policy. We make objections if we believe the retail planning guidelines are not being adhered to."
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.