It’s that time of year when we like to ask “Will Aldi be opening a store in Connah’s Quay”
Aldi said yesterday it plans to open 130 stores in the UK over the next two years, creating 5,000 jobs and moving the supermarket closer to its target of 1,000 stores by 2022.
The supermarket chain announced record results for its last financial year, with sales continuing to increase in 2018 as growing numbers of British shoppers switch from the Big Four.
Sales in the UK and Ireland rose 16.4% to £10.2bn in the year to 31st December 2017 (2016: £8.8bn) – a higher growth rate than the previous year at 13.5%.
Great but what about a store in Connah’s Quay?
The supermarket chain confirmed in December 2014 it wanted to open in Connah’s Quay creating 35-40 new jobs, but no plans were ever submitted.
The announcement was widely covered by local and regional media outlets and quoted comments from Flintshire County Council and Aldi themselves appeared both online and in print.
The former Somerfield site in the Quay was earmarked as a potential location for a new store, though some ‘talk’ locally indicated discussions had taken place about a brand new build on the adjacent land where council offices once stood.
Around a year after the initial ‘noise’ over a new Aldi in the Quay had died down, the former Somerfield site went back on the market with Liverpool based property specialists Mason Owen.
Fast forward to 2018, Mason Owen signs are still up outside the empty store, there has been further press reports (and articles on Deeside.com) about Aldi remaining interested in Connah’s Quay but nothing has happened since the story first broke four years ago.
Deeside.com asked Aldi two weeks ago if the firm still planned to open in Connah’s Quay, they didn’t respond, we asked again on Monday and a spokesperson did say: “I don’t believe there’s any further updates on Connah’s Quay.”
A few of things worth noting:
There was ‘some talk’ about Aldi and Flintshire County Council not seeing ‘eye to eye’ on potential parking issues at a Connah’s Quay site which could have impacted any new store decision.
There will be, at some point in the near future a ready-made small supermarket size retail unit on the huge new Northern Gateway site opposite RAF Sealand.
Interestingly, Aldi has a property page on its website with a list of towns it wishes to target with a new store, it shows seven locations in North Wales, it does not include Connah’s Quay, the sites are:
Mason Owen the property firm marketing the Somerfield site appears to have removed the property from its website, though external signs remain in place, has it been sold or a lease agreed?
Lidl has applied for planning permission to extend its Queensferry store so it will not be moving anywhere fast.
Here’s a ‘curveball’ – could Tesco’s new budget brand Jack’s make an appearance in Connah’s Quay?
It’s still a case of “keep watching this space” for developments.
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