THE new Tesco store at Craigavon was officially opened on Monday - bringing an ‘extra’ 183 jobs to the borough.
First Minister Peter Robinson was at the opening of the Tesco Extra store, now their largest store in Northern Ireland employing a total of 377 people.
This is the fifth Tesco Extra store in the province and at 84,000sq ft will offer an exciting new shopping experience featuring an impressive range of departments including electrical, opticians, photo shop, phone shop, clothing and food.
Stores Director Stephen Cochrane said: “Tesco is delighted to bring 183 new well-paid retail jobs to the Craigavon area. Our new ‘Extra’ is around four times the size of our previous store which has now closed in the adjacent shopping centre. Employees from there have transferred to the new store and have also been joined by other staff who took up the opportunity to relocate from other nearby Tesco outlets.
“The opening of this new store is a further demonstration of our commitment to our Northern Ireland customers, suppliers and the local economy. This is a very exciting time for Craigavon and the surrounding areas and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local residents, groups and organisations for their support and patience during the construction of this store.”
The First Minister said, “The official opening of this new Tesco Extra store in Craigavon is a welcome development for both the local area and the economy more generally. The construction of the store represents a vote of confidence in Northern Ireland and this multi-million pound investment creating 183 ‘extra’ jobs is a boost to our economy.
“Craigavon can now boast of the largest Tesco store in Northern Ireland. Many local producers supply their Northern Ireland produce to Tesco and we look forward to the continued development and expansion of this relationship.”
The store was officially opened by local lady Lilian Percival who was nominated in a competition by her son Iain. Since 1977 until her recent ill-health, Lilian was extremely active in the community serving on many committees while bringing up seven sons, all of whom still live and work in the area. Lilian arrived at the big event in style with a limousine provided by Lurgan Limos, who also transported her home.
During the design and development of the store, particular attention was given to measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the building and its impact on the environment. The external surface is made from 100% sustainable timber cladding and so looks completely different to the usual superstore exterior and, to date, is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.