Asda Opens Temporary Store in Downpatrick following the December floods
Two long serving colleagues lead the official opening ceremony in Downpatrick.
Downpatrick has received a welcome boost following the devastation caused by the November floods which resulted in the closure of the town’s Asda store.
Today (Thursday 25 January) the retailer proudly opened a temporary store that is situated in the car park of the original Asda site.
Located in Ballydugan Retail Park, the 14,000 sq ft temporary building is approximately half the size of the original store. With the limited space, it will provide the key everyday essentials across produce, meat and fish, frozen, grocery and beers, wines & spirits, offering a short-term solution for Asda’s regular customers.
Throughout the store closure all 156 colleagues were redeployed to other Asda locations in Northern Ireland, and last week the full team were reunited in Downpatrick to prepare for the temporary store opening.
Welcoming the first customers into the store, General Store Manager, Ciara Smith said: “I’m over the moon to have Asda up and running again in Downpatrick.
“Although we have a smaller store space, I’m really proud we’ve been able to come up with a temporary solution that enables us to still serve our customers.
“The flooding has taken its toll on the people and businesses of Downpatrick, and it fills me with pride to be able to reinject a bit of Asda magic into the town centre – only three months after our store was forced to close.
“Above all I applaud our amazing colleagues for their support, flexibility and positivity.
“Whether they were deployed to other stores or changed roles to support different parts of our business, they really stepped up to get us through this difficult period.
“They deserve so much praise for their hard work, especially this week in getting the store ready to open.”
Two of the store’s longest serving colleagues, Carol Campbell and Muriel McKee, both of whom have clocked 36 years of service to Asda, proudly represented their Downpatrick team to cut the ribbon and officially declare the store open for business.
“This is a very special day for all of us,” said Muriel. “We’re thrilled to play our part and can’t wait to see all the familiar faces shopping with us once again.”
The store’s Community Champion, Linda Owens has continued to support the local community during the store’s closure, thanks to the backing of over £7500 of grants from the Asda Foundation.
Linda has helped support a variety of local groups who have felt the full impact of the flood damage. This ranged from assisting with the clean-up operation to funding food hampers for vulnerable families who were put out of work due to the floods.
Asda’s Senior Director for Northern Ireland, Niall Keyes said: “It’s wonderful for Asda to be open again in Downpatrick.
“A lot of hard work from Ciara and the team has gone into finding a solution so we can continue to provide a much-valued service.
“We’re thrilled to be able to play our part in reviving activity and driving footfall in this vibrant town centre. We’ve always prided ourselves on being at the heart of the local community and today’s opening really brings this to life.
“This has been a true team effort resulting from the hard work and support of our many stakeholders, in particular Newry, Mourne & Down Council, local politicians and other town traders.
“Today marks an important first step in the regeneration of Downpatrick and we look forward to building on this momentum in the months ahead.”
The temporary store will operate its normal opening hours and will continue to run a Click & Collect service.
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