Dunnes stops Mr Price selling food in Carlow

Dunnes claims sale of food products breaches lease covenant, while Mr Price argues increased footfall is "optimal for all involved in the park”

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19 November 2020 | 0

At a High Court hearing earlier this week, Mr Price agreed to temporarily remove food and drinks from sale at its new Carlow Store in Barrow Valley Retail Park, pending a full hearing of the case.

Dunnes Stores launched the High Court action, claiming that the sale of food products, from a premises next door to one of its outlets, breaches a restrictive covenant included within lease agreements for units at the retail park located on Sleaty Road in Carlow.

Represented in court by Mr Martin Hayden SC and Roland Rowan, Dunnes claimed that in 2005 and 2007, it entered, as part of an arrangement to be the park’s anchor tenant, into lease agreements with the retail park’s former owners.

The court heard that Mr Price began selling a variety of foods and groceries from its unit, and that both Dunnes Stores and the retail park’s management company allegedly contacted Mr Price asking the store to stop selling food products.

Following the court hearing, Mr Price said it hopes that it will not be stopped selling food in the long-term.

“It’s a pity that there will be less competition in this retail park for the time being, but we hope that we won’t be stopped selling these items long-term,” said the group’s Laura Blighe.

“This case is about way more than food, and it’s so important that fair competition is allowed prevail in the long-term in Carlow,” Blighe added. “Increased footfall to a park struggling to fill vacant units is surely optimal for all involved in the park.”

The retailer also said its opening had provided a “major boost” for Carlow town, claiming: “Barrow Valley Retail Park is a 14-year-old retail park that has never really taken off the ground and still has 70% of its units vacant. The opening of Mr Price served as a major boost for Carlow Town with 28 full-time jobs created, in a time of otherwise great uncertainty.”

Mr Price added that these full-time jobs are now “certainly in jeopardy if Dunnes is successful” at stopping the retailer carrying its normal full range of merchandise.



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