There was great excitement and lengthy queues as Aldi opened its Belmullet store today.
Some shoppers were there from 6.30am in order to be the first to hit the aisles and bag a bargain when the supermarket opened its doors at 9am. Customers streamed out with packed trolleys and electrical goods like irons and table saws proved particularly popular on Aldi’s first day of trading in Erris.
One Belmullet woman was grateful for an early morning wake-up call from the Land Down Under.
“My daughter rang me from Australia. I had to ask her what time it was and when she told me it was 8am I thought, ‘Oh, my God!” said Breege Costello, who hightailed it for a place near the head of queue.
First in the queue at 6.30am were Belmullet natives Josephine Donoghue and Carmel McIntyre. Josephine travelled from Claremorris this morning. “I had to come and get a power washer!” she said.
Inver woman Margaret Connell normally has to travel to Castlebar on a weekly basis for gluten-free goods. “Now I can get it locally at a good price. The shop opening is brilliant for Belmullet,” she explained.
“We travelled all the way from Binghamstown!, “ joked pals Mary Gallagher and Stephanie Keane.
“We’re very excited and it’s great to see Belmullet moving with the times. It’s great because it’s going to keep people shopping in the town and not travelling in the other direction like they have been for years,” said Stephanie.
Toorglass B&B owner Ann Ruddy was stocking up on essentials and a mini-fridge. “Without doubt this will be good for the area. It’s bringing more people in and will stimulate business. I know that a lot of local shops are worried but I actually think it will be a godsend,” said Ann.
The Tallagh Road store has created 16 new jobs with 11 staff members recruited from the Belmullet area.
Aldi Ireland has worked with a number of Mayo suppliers, including Western Brand Group in Ballyhaunis and Carr & Sons Seafood Ltd. in Killala which have both supplied Aldi for 14 years, and UltraPure Laboratories in Foxford which has supplied Aldi for the past 13 years. Other local suppliers in Mayo include O’Haras of Foxford Ltd and CPAC Foods, also based in Foxford. The Belmullet branch is the fourth Aldi store to open in Mayo.
Colin Cronin, Store Manager said: “Our new Aldi store in Belmullet is fantastic news for people in the locality. The spacious design means it is easier for customers to pick up what they need, and our aim is to ensure every customer has an enjoyable shop. From all the staff here at the new store, we hope everyone has a chance to pop in and avail of our great savings and award-winning products.”