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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 06:48 GMT
Retail giant buys family business
Curley's shop front
Curley's started with a small shop on west Belfast's Glen Road in 1969
Family owned supermarket firm Curley's is to be sold to Sainsbury's in a multi-million pound deal.

It centres on Curley's two flagship stores in west Belfast and Dungannon, employing 250 and 140 people.

Staff are to be offered continuing employment with Sainsbury's. It is also hoped to create 100 additional jobs at the Belfast site.

Curley's owner, Hugh Kennedy, started off with just 20 and a small shop on west Belfast's Glen Road in 1969.

Earlier this year, the firm was reported to have a turnover of about 52m.

It valued its local identity and traded on the slogan: "Buy local - we do". Its west Belfast store famously had signs in both Irish and English.

'Respected'

"The Kennedy family has successfully traded in west Belfast for 38 years and for over 22 years in Dungannon with the well-established Curley's brand highly regarded for its quality and service," said Mr Kennedy.

"The reputation of our supermarkets has attracted interest from a variety of potential purchasers over the years."

Trolley full of shopping from Curley's
It is also hoped to create 200 additional jobs in west Belfast

Hugh Kennedy said Sainsbury's had provided the "most appropriate offer" with regard to terms and conditions for employees and choice for customers.

The Kennedy family will retain ownership of the two shopping centres in which its flagship stores were located with "significant ongoing investment" said to be planned for both complexes.

It will also continue to own and operate 11 off-licences throughout Northern Ireland trading as Curley's.

Glyn Roberts of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association said he was "disappointed" that one of the largest independent retailers in Northern Ireland was being sold.

"The big multiples have adopted the practice of buying successful competitors out of the market place. We are concerned that more and more of our independent retail sector will be lost in this way, removing local choice and diversity to consumers," he said.



SEE ALSO
Curley's squares up to big rivals
12 Jan 07 |  Business

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