Mullingar can look forward to a brand new discount store on its eastern approaches this year, after Ray McIntyre of Westmeath Motors was given permission this week to build a second shop on his Dublin Road property.
The €2m development is expected to create up to 20 full and part time jobs when it opens, “hopefully for the middle of the summer”, according to Mr McIntyre.
The county council has given the green light for the businessman to convert a portion of the showroom and car yard into 1,256 sqm of “retail use as a discount foodstore”.
Westmeath Motors hope to be the third address in Leinster for the new Irish discount store BuyLo, started last year by Cork-based wholesalers Barry Group to compete with the established discounters Lidl and Aldi, as well as the Tescos and Dunnes of the world.
Like its German competitors BuyLo operates a template store with a footprint of no more than 15,000 sq ft (1,393 sqm ), but with the central difference being that it carries a stocked maximum of 1,000 known brands.
BuyLo started in Thurles and Tralee, before opening in Newbridge, Co Kildare and Ashbourne, Co Meath. Westmeath Motors hopes to be its first franchise, while the Barry Group hopes to have its new empire expanded to 10 units by the end of the year.
“We already have 30 people employed here now. We’re consolidating those and creating at least 20 more. That’s the point,” said Ray McIntyre this week.
“The key [with this venture] is to deliver value to the public and we’re hoping to establish it as a destination venue with everyday brands at everyday prices,” he said.
The Westmeath Motors campus, already host to a highly lucrative and successful Centra franchise, is ideally situated for such further development as there are over 1,000 houses within a one kilometre radius, and 25,000 people within 15 minutes, according to an exhaustive retail study accompanying the planning application.
McIntyres will have to create a new vehicular entrance for the development and the entire site under development, including car parking and canopy will consist of just under one hectare. The site was zoned ‘mixed use - town centre’ in the last town development plan for the years 2002-2008.
A site off the Ardmore Road belonging to another local developer has been given outline permission for a similar development in the Marlinstown area plan but no full permission has been applied for this yet.