Top stories in the papers this week 3 – 10 June 2011

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Superquinn must pay €560k after shutting Dundalk store; Few Wexford retailers refused rent cut; Consumer squeeze hits sales at Spar



9 June 2011

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1. Superquinn must pay €560k after shutting Dundalk store

Superquinn has been ordered to pay €560k to Friends First after closing its Dundalk store. The Sunday Business Post reports Superquinn’s owners, Select Retail Holdings, shut the supermarket in February 2009, and the High Court ruled that this breached a ‘‘keep open’’ covenant in its lease. As Superquinn had earlier sold its interest in the lease to Friends First Pensions Funds, it agreed to indemnify them for the damages incurred. 

2. Few Wexford retailers refused rent cut

A survey of retailers in a typical country town shows that only 19% were refused rent reductions; suggesting that there may be no need for radical changes on rent reviews.  The Irish Times reports that in advance of the Government banning upwards only rent reviews in all existing business leases, a new survey by estate agents CB Richard Ellis shows the vast majority of traders who sought a rent cut in Wexford town were granted a reduction.

3. Consumer squeeze hits sales at Spar

Sales at Ireland’s Spar stores fell by 4% to €1.17 billion last year, as a number of shops closed their doors amid falling consumer spending. The Sunday Business Post reports new figures from Spar International show there were 444 Spar shops across Ireland last year, down from 456 in 2009. Globally, Spar had sales of €29.8 billion last year, up by €1.3 billion from 2009.

4. Crime cost firms €1.48 billion in 2010, up 10%, says ISME

Over one third of companies (34%), have been the target of criminal activity in the last 12 months, up from 28% from the previous year, according to a new survey by ISME. The Irish Examiner reports that the 741 respondents found the retail sector was most affected. The most common crime reported was "robbery" by 34% of respondents, followed by vandalism at 28%, with theft by outsiders and burglary each at 27%.

5. Could Batchelors and Jacob Fruitfield merger create Ireland’s tastiest collection?

With merger talks currently occurring between Valeo Foods, the owner of Batchelors, and Jacob Fruitfield, the biscuit and jam maker, the Sunday Business Post examines the potential ramifications. If a merger proceeds, Ireland may soon have a major food producer with annual revenues of around €300 million and over 500 staff. The paper reports that there is understood to be optimism that an agreement can be reached.


Challenging times also present great opportunities (Irish Independent)
-Interview with Payzone MD, Jim Deignan, outlining how the company continues to search for new avenues for growth.

Consumers more upbeat as job fears ease (Irish Independent)

Raw materials continue to push prices up (Belfast Telegraph)

Offaly TD supports calls for fair trade legislation for farmers and food producers (Offaly Express)

Uncertain future for indebted Londonderry food firm (Belfast Telegraph)

Regulator gives Bord Gais green light to sell firms cheaper gas (Irish Independent)

Northern Ireland parking charges plan faces axe (Belfast Telegraph)

IFA president calls on Bruton to make retail prices fairer to farmers (Irish Examiner)

Boots has new rent policy (Irish Times)
-The chemist chain has just agreed to pay 9% of its turnover rather than the usual standard rent for a new store planned for the Milfield shopping centre in Balbriggan, Co Dublin.

Party time in Rafter Street (Enniscorthy Guardian)
-Rafter Street in Enniscorthy is back in business following a €320,000 rennovation project.

New course for seafood businesses (Donegal Democrat)

We need to take advantage of Britain’s vulnerability when it comes to their food security (Irish Independent)

Tough times predicted for the UK’s hard-pressed retail trade (Belfast Telegraph)

Sweet outlook for confectionery firm, Tubs Sweets (Sunday Business Post)

Dissidents warned over lost trade (Belfast Telegraph)

Walmart’s €1.7bn takeover of South African chain approved (Irish Times)

May data to reveal sobering sales drop (Belfast Telegraph)

Donegal Senator urges Govt to act on German E.coli outbreak (Sligo Today)

CEO was sacked, by email, from Payzone, the company he founded (Irish Independent)

Greencore buyout plan ‘will hinge on fundraising’ (Irish Independent)
-The Irish firm eyes Marks & Spencer sandwich supplier in £100m deal

Blame the authorities for the E coli panic — not Germany or Spain (Irish Examiner)

Tesco boss: internet sales and stores can work together (Guardian)

-Retailer launches ‘click and collect’ service in UK

Sainsbury’s boss King sees pay cut (Guardian)

Citypost to create 180 new jobs (Irish Times)



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