Marks & Spencer has announced plans for a new food store in Colorado as new figures show that supermarkets in the North continue to experience significant growth during epidemics.
Grocery analyst Gander reported 12.2 percent growth in expenses for the year ended March 21, 2021, with sales up 6.2 percent in the last 12 weeks.
Research continues to point to changing patterns in the behavior of Northern Irish shoppers when it comes to grocery shopping.
Supermarket visits have dropped by an average of 26 per person per year, but the cost per trip has risen by 20.9 per cent.
M&S has responded to the growth of food sales by focusing more on its best performing groceries and online nodes last year.
In the second half of last year, it set up a $ 6 million food store in Bonbridge and confirmed plans to expand its catering at Crescent Link Retail Park in Terry.
Now the supermarket chain proposes a 17,100-square-foot dining hall at Riverside Retail Park in Colerin.
This is understood to be the project center around the two units previously occupied by Maplein and Starplan.
Sainsbury’s and Little already operate from the location.
This represents an investment of approximately m 2.5 million, with about 70 jobs expected to be created once open and operational.
M&S currently employs 2,800 people in 21 stores in Northern Ireland.
Philip Conlan, who heads M&S operations in the North, said: “We are always thinking about how we can best serve our customers.
“We believe Riverside Retail Park is the perfect place to open a new M&S dining hall that will serve not only the Colorado area, but the entire North Coast.
“The new dining hall will provide customers with a larger and better shopping experience, as well as convenient and accessible car parking.”
In a statement, a spokesman for Riverside Retail Park said: “This would be a significant investment of $ 2.5 million in Colerin – creating 40 jobs during the construction phase and supporting another 70 full-time and part-time jobs when the store opens and is operational.
“Given the economic uncertainty caused by Govt-19 and Brexit, we believe this investment represents a genuine confidence vote on the Colorado.”