Tesco opening new Express store in Belfast days after closing city centre Metro store
The retailer confirmed its decision last year not to renew the lease it has held on the former bank building next to Primark’s bank buildings since 1996.
While the lease isn’t due to expire until Sunday October 17, Tesco has already closed the doors of the Metro store and cleared its shelving from the shop floor.
Tesco still has an express store on Royal Avenue and a new unit about to open just up the street at Donegall Place.
The former bank building on Royal Avenue went on the market earlier this year with an asking price of £4.25 million.
The 22,500 sq ft listed building dates back to 1869 when it was built as the Belfast branch for the Provincial Bank of Ireland. Allied Irish Bank took it over in the late 1980s until it was taken over by Tesco in 1996, building an extension.
The Tesco Metro store was hard hit in the wake of the August 2018 fire that devastated Primark’s Bank Buildings store next door.
It remained closed for almost nine months, reopening in May 2019, and the work at Bank Buildings has restricted access to the store.
Primark has already responded to the 2018 fire by buying Fountain House on Donegall Place.