Warm reception among Kildare shoppers for new Dunnes Stores

Locals believe opening could revive Naas town centre

Conor McHugh

Reporter:

Conor McHugh

Email:

conor@leinsterleader.ie

Warm reception among Kildare shoppers for new Dunnes Stores

Store manager, Padraic Carney, cuts the ribbon, with Pat Whelan (left), James Whelan Butchers, Sheila Fitzpatrick, Alternative Bread Company, at opening of Dunnes Sores. Photos Tony Keane.

The new Dunnes Store shop in Naas opened just before 10am this morning to small fanfare and was quickly filled with locals looking to see the results of the work that was carried out on the old Superquinn site over the past few months.

Dunnes Stores management executives mingled with shoppers who explored the wide modern aisles as well as the Whelans Butchers, Sheridan’s Cheesemongers and others.

The initial reaction was very positive. Marion Burke, Nichole and young daughters Amelia and Sophia  were there to see the work of the girls’ dad Christopher Higgins who was one of the builders on the project over the past few months.

“It’s very well laid out. There’s plenty of room,” Marion remarked.

Anne O'Neill and Esther Doyle 

Karen Fogarty was there to wish her son Josh well in his new job. Josh is a staff member there, having joined the company two weeks ago. He worked for a week in the Newbridge store before moving to the Naas one last week.

Naas woman Anne O’Neill said it was the best thing that could have happened to Naas in a long time.

“It’s laid out very well, with plenty of space for wheelchairs and buggies, and it’s spotlessly clean.

“It will bring back life into the town,” said, adding: “I’ll be in to get me paper every morning, and milk!”

Her friend Esther Doyle noted that “If you’re living on your own, you’ll never want to cook again!”

Read also: Empowering young people in Kildare with disabilities

The two women compared it positively to the days of Superquinn when a grocery shop was close by.

“I’d even jump the wall if I could!” joked Anne who lives in Fr Murphy Place. “We’ve waited a very long time for this,” she added.

John Dooley was chatting to the HR manager Lorna Tully from Newbridge.

“The facility of having a shop on the main street has been missing a long time,” he remarked, “although we’ll have to see yet how the parking it going to work.” 

He said he understood that exiting traffic can only turn left. 

“Inside it’s a lovely layout.”

 John Dooley from Naas, with Lorna Tully, from Newbridge, HR Manager

Ms Tully noted that most of the managers in the new store are local Kildare folk.

Naas woman Sharon Brennan was munching away on a very delicious free donut and was very complimentary about the staff member who was handing them out when she spoke to this reporter. 

She was with children Teegan, Morgan and Missy (Ciara) Dolly, who were hoping to catch a glimpse of their dad, Mark Dolly, who has started working in the new store.

Sharon was impressed with the layout of the new store, saying she “liked the way it flows”.

The new shop has approximately 45 parking spaces, in the same layout as was the case in the Superquinn days. 

It also has three spots at the door way for wheelchair users, and five bicycle racks for two-wheeled visitors.

The outside of the new shop