Tesco drops plans for new stores in Armagh and Carryduff
Tesco has dropped plans to build two new stores in Northern Ireland as it announces cutbacks to its supermarket chain across the UK.
It had planning permission for a 15,000 sq ft supermarket in Carryduff, County Down, and a much bigger store close to Armagh city centre.
Across the UK as a whole, Tesco is shelving plans to open 49 new shops.
The firm has also said it will close 43 unprofitable stores across the UK, but has not yet revealed the locations.
The supermarket chain has made the decision as part of a turnaround plan, amid falling sales and profit warnings.
Tesco's chief executive officer Dave Lewis said: "It is with a heavy heart that I am today announcing that we are unable to proceed with our planned new store developments in Armagh and Carryduff.
"Our performance as a business has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be and my absolute imperative has to be to protect the future of our business for the circa 300,000 colleagues we employ in communities all over the UK."
Mr Lewis added: "I know that this news will be a real disappointment to many people in Northern Ireland and we're extremely grateful for the support we've received for our plans.
"I am very aware of the importance of these sites and I am determined that we will work closely with the respective councils to find the right solutions for both Armagh and Carryduff."