Lidl coming to Shankill Shopping Centre

A "state of the art" store planned for the Dublin suburb...

Lidl is set to open a "state of the art" store in south county Dublin, having purchased the ill-fated Shankill Shopping Centre from a Lithuanian billionaire.

While a price hasn't been disclosed, the Irish Times reports that the centre was recently valued at more than €8.7 million.

Bilaro, which is linked to Lithuanian retail billionaire Nerijus Numavicius, had purchased the site for roughly €6m in 2012 and carried out a major remodelling job that included the construction of a large anchor unit.

It had been set to open a supermarket in the unit until work was halted in the spring – Shankill currently has no major supermarket.

The newspaper has also seen recently-filed Bilaro accounts that show the sale closed on July 14th and that €8.3m from it was paid to another company linked to Numavicius, suggesting the price was close to its current book value.

Lidl now intends to open "the most modern state of the art store" at the site, though details have not been finalised.

A pharmacy, takeaway and hairdresser had remained open for business during Bilaro's works, with Lidl suggesting that they will likely be able to stay on as "early indications are it will be a mixed-use development as the space would allow for additional units".

A Kantar Worldpanel survey of Ireland's supermarket sector in September showed that German retailers Lidl and Aldi have a combined 23.1% of the Irish market, with Lidl edging ahead of its rival, with a 11.7% slice Aldi's 11.4%.