Northern Ireland

Ballyclare retailer of 40 years in administration

A retail business which has operated in Ballyclare for 40 years has been placed into administration.

Woodsides Ballyclare Ltd, which operates the town's SuperValu store, has faced increasing competition from the big supermarkets.

The company closed its Carrickfergus outlet in 2010 and also made some redundancies in Ballyclare.

The Ballyclare shop is still open and continuing to trade for now.

The firm's accounts show that it lost more than £300,000 in both 2009 and 2010.

A note in the 2010 accounts said the biggest risks facing the company were the difficult economic circumstances coupled with a large supermarket chain opening nearby.

A branch of Asda opened in the town in 2008.

The independent retail sector in Northern Ireland has been under pressure due to weak consumer spending.

Government figures released last week suggest that retail spending in Northern Ireland has fallen by nearly 10% over the last year.