In the papers this week 10 – 17 Apr 2009

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Asda plans for Dundalk; Dunnes will pay €28.8 million for Harry Crosbie docklands development; milk farmers protest Glanbia price cut; Mandate ballots Tesco staff



17 April 2009

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In The Argus this week, "massive plans" have been revealed of a potential move into Dundalk by Asda. Owners of Dundalk Retail Park, Finnabair Estates Ltd has put a planning application to the town council for an 8,340 sq m retail unit, in which Asda will take up occupancy should it get the green light.

Tesco has revealed that it has ceased offering 24-hour shopping in 23 of its Irish stores, reports the Evening Herald, leaving only 34 outlets trading around the clock. In Dublin, Nutgrove, Tallaght, Prussia Street and Merrion stores had their opening hours adjusted.

Around 2,000 farmers have staged protests during the week against milk price cuts, which they claim jeopardise the viability of 4,000 suppliers. The IFA has demanded that Glanbia reverse its March price cut to 20c a litre, and said that more protests were to take place in Portlaoise and Wexford, reports the Examiner.

Retail workers trade union Mandate is set to ballot for industrial action in the Douglas, Co Cork branch of supermarket Tesco, writes The Sunday Business Post, due to a dispute over terms and conditions for workers transferring to a new store.

Meanwhile, the dispute between Dublin Docklands developer Harry Crosbie and Dunnes Stores has been resolved, The Irish Times reports, with the retailer agreeing to pay €28.8 million towards the acquisition of its anchor tenant store. It had originally agreed on a price of €46 million. The 40 unit centre is set to open for business in 2010.

According to a report in the Irish Independent, 49% of all unemployed Irish people smoke, nearly double that of the general population. The research by the Royal College of Surgeons shows that 27% of all Irish people currently smoke, craft and trade workers are the highest group of smokers, with 45% of female and 39% of male workers smoking.

Retailers in the Bray area near Schering Plough will be hit hard by the plant’s eventual closure in the next two years, reports The Bray People. Centra owners on both the Vevay and on the Boghall said that the loss of 240 workers in the area is a big blow.

The Sunday Business Post reports that Conor Kilduff has been appointed as the new managing director of Unilever Ireland, which was announced this week. Kilduff, who has over 20 years experience in the FMCG sector, will replace Ronald Drieduite who will step down in May.

Despite recent criticism Alistair Darling’s temporary VAT cut in the UK has reportedly been a success, says The Sunday Times. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says that there was an immediate boost to sales growth after the cut’s introduction, and that in the first three months of the lower rate, retailers’ turnover was £2.1 billion higher than it would otherwise have been.

Dublin food producer Country Crest has reached "the Holy Grail" of 100% energy self-sufficiency, reports The Irish Times. The Lusk-based food company, which produces 55,000 convenience meals a week, has invested €1.5 million in a wind turbine to generate its own electricity.

From the Irish Examiner, the Kerry Group’s chief executive takes home a €1.5m pay cheque. According to the group’s 2008 annual report McCarthy’s gross income hit €1,525,000 in 2008, up from €1,032,000 in 2007 when he was president and chief executive of Kerry Ingredients Americas.

Jameson whiskey saw sales surging 11% in value in the first three months of the year, writes the Examiner, making it the star of Pernod Ricard’s portfolio. Vodka sales were also strong across Europe, with sales jumping 41% in Germany and 10% in France.

Finally, Waitrose in the UK is launching online shopping war this week, by taking the unprecedented step of scrapping its delivery charges, reports The Sunday Times. Taking about 10,000 orders a week, dropping the charge will mean sacrificing £50,000 every seven days.



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