Confusion over Naas retail plans

CONFUSION surrounds the future of two retail developments in Naas this week.

CONFUSION surrounds the future of two retail developments in Naas this week.

Naas councillors are seeking more information from Musgraves about any proposal for a new store in the town.

Cllr Darren Scully has requested Naas Town Council to write to the financial director of Musgraves to inquire about the company’s business plan for the former St Patrick’s Vocational School site in Naas.

There is speculation that the site Superquinn intended to move to does not form part of the plan mooted by Musgraves to take over Superquinn’s business.

Musgraves did not respond to a query from the Leinster Leader before we went to press yesterday (July 25). The council is also to write to the managing director of Penneys Ireland to ask if that company intends to start construction on the former Superquinn site in the middle of town, which it now owns, later this year.

Numerous reports have placed a E200m price tag on the Musgrave deal, which has been criticised by former suppliers to the Superquinn chain who fear that they may not be paid outstanding monies owed by the former owners.

Any takeover deal will have to be approved by the Competition Authority before any new arrangement can be finalised and queries may be raised as the deal would give Musgraves, Tescos and Dunnes a combined market share greater than 75%.

However, the CA must be officially notified of any takeover before it will examine the fine print.

Superquinn was bought out by Select Retail Holdings for about E450 in 2005, when the economy was in a much stronger position.

Three years later Superquinn paid more than E20m for the site of the then St. Patrick’s Community College, Newbridge Road – at the height of the property boom.

Subsequently Superquinn announced ambitious plans for the site which included a cinema complex, shop units, an off licence, cafe and underground car park.

In February the Superquinn store off North Main Street closed with the loss of 110 jobs. The site had previously been sold on to Penneys, which has secured planning approval for a new store and the lease expired.