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Sunday 28 May 2023 Dublin: 12°C
mastermaq via Flickr A superstore in the US
# Superstores
New superstore laws 'will be the death of town centres'
Allowing US-style hypermarkets will cost jobs and send money out of the country, according to heritage organisation An Taisce.

GOVERNMENT PROPOSALS TO remove legal limits on the size of warehouse-style superstores will cost jobs and leave town centres gutted, An Taisce has said.

The heritage group said the move – which it’s been suggested could open Ireland up to US-style hypermarkets – would prove “a coffin for town and city centres”.

The proposals, contained in draft Retail Planning Guidelines released by the Department of the Environment last month, would see certain areas exempted from the current cap of 6,000 sq m on the floorspace of “retail warehouse” stores.

The Government committed to re-examining this limit as part of bailout deal agreed with the IMF/EU/ECB troika last year.

However, An Taisce said out-of-town superstores would destroy more jobs than were generated. “Research shows that 1.4 jobs are lost in town centres for every new job created in out-of-town ‘megastores’,” the body said in a statement.

It said research from the US shows that each new superstore “results in a net jobs loss of 270 full-time positions”. They also return only half as much money to the local economy as locally-based shops, An Taisce argued.

“The reality is that mega-retailing in Dundrum has destroyed shopping in Dun Loaghaire, while edge-of-town shopping has also put Waterford and Limerick city centres in jeopardy,” the statement added.

An Taisce is proposing a “hypermarket tax” similar to that being introduced in the North – whereby the largest retail complexes would pay extra rates, which would then go towards supporting smaller businesses.

There should also be a nominal charge on parking at out-of-town retail centres, the body argued.

More: Budget leaks: the hypermarket could be on its way to Ireland>

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