Food retailer’s £180m boost to economy

(L-R) JP Scally, Managing Director of Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland, Neil McCullough, Oxford Economics, and Conor Boyle, Lidl Northern Ireland Regional Director. Pic by Phil Smyth Photo.
(L-R) JP Scally, Managing Director of Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland, Neil McCullough, Oxford Economics, and Conor Boyle, Lidl Northern Ireland Regional Director. Pic by Phil Smyth Photo.
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Lidl Northern Ireland contributes almost £180m to the local economy annually and sustains 3,500 jobs, according to an independent report.

The report by Oxford Economics, commissioned by the province’s fastest-growing supermarket, to mark its 20th anniversary, has stated that as well as sum of £179m generated in the province, last year, Lidl Northern Ireland also procured more than £290m of goods, the majority of which was sold to stores outside the region.

Last year, Lidl Northern Ireland was responsible for sustaining an estimated 3,500 local jobs through its combined store-based activity, local purchasing power and direct consumer spend.

Almost a third of Lidl’s NI turnover was generated within the Belfast and the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon districts. Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, Mid Ulster, Mid and East Antrim and Fermanagh benefited most from Lidl’s agri-food procurement spend. Of the £290m worth of goods purchased in 2018, around £200m were sold in Britain, while almost £49m went to stores in the Republic of Ireland.

JP Scally, Managing Director at Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, said: “With 38 stores and over 300,000 weekly customers, our commitment to deliver high quality locally-produced products at market-leading prices has helped to drive our phenomenal growth for two decades and we’re proud of the deep local relationships with our suppliers and staff which we have established in this time.”

To support its expansion and new store programme, Lidl Northern Ireland has also invested around £8m every year since 2008. Last year, that figure was almost £13m.

In addition, the report stated that employees earn around 30% more than the local retail average. Two-thirds of staff are aged 34 or under.

The company has developed a series of award-winning local programmes to support staff development and employment opportunities. These include; The Princes Trust ‘Get into Retail’ programme, a bursary scheme in partnership with Ulster University and QUB.