The new Tesco Extra store at Bridgewater Park, Banbridge, has opened bringing 252 new jobs to the area and potentially boosting cross-border trade.
Tesco unveiled its 55th store in Northern Ireland last Thursday.
The 63,500 sq ft store, which is the first in province to have a Community Room manned by a Community Space Champion, represents a capital investment of £38m by Tesco.
The store will provide employment for a total of 330 staff with 78 personnel re-locating from other Tesco branches.
Stephen Magill, Bridgewater Park Tesco Extra Store Manager, said: “We have a greater selection across virtually all of our ranges at the new store, including lots more fresh food such as a bakery where all the bread is baked from scratch in store by skilled bakers.
“We are also thrilled to have a Primacy Meats counter.
“We are also one of the few Tesco locations in Northern Ireland to offer scan-as-you-shop which brings even greater convenience to our customers.”
Other new additions to the Tesco offering in Banbridge include a more extensive F&F clothing range, a modern general merchandise area which stocks kitchenware and more, a pizza counter where you can choose your own tempting toppings, a travel money desk and more self-service tills.
Mr Magill added that there is a demand among local people for the new Tesco Extra.
“People in Banbridge have been very supportive of this venture.
It is what they wanted and we believe the demand is definitely there for this new store. Overall there is a lot on offer here including our very own free-to-use well equipped Community Room which is available to local groups through our Community Space Champion.”
The arrival of a new Tesco Extra at this location in Banbridge, which has always attracted cross border trade, is expected to draw in even more shoppers into the town.
“Bridgewater Park’s Tesco Extra, which becomes the 55th Tesco store in Northern Ireland has just under 650 free car parking spaces so it is appealing to those travelling locally or from other parts of Northern Ireland and the Republic.
“The location adjacent to The Outlet also adds to its attraction as a great shopping destination.
“For me, this is a fantastic opportunity to offer a greater range of Tesco products for our customers - all under one roof.”
Local food and drink producers will be supported too, with a special Tesco Local Market planned at Bridgewater Park on October 25, when 20 local firms will be showcasing the very best in homegrown food for customers to try and buy
The existing store at Castlewellan Road in the town will remain open for at least ten years as part of the Tesco commitment to Banbridge.