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Lidl Invests €80 Million in Largest Regional Distribution Centre

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By Chamber Press Office, 25 May 2023

  • 1,000 jobs supported during construction and 100 new jobs created In Mullingar
  • €1m investment football pitch sized rooftop solar panel array with almost 3,000 panels

Lidl has officially opened its newly extended Mullingar Regional Distribution Centre following an €80 million investment, creating 100 new permanent jobs. The facility is now one of the largest distribution centres on the island of Ireland and one of the Lidl Group’s largest in the world. Having invested €1 million in a football-pitch-sized rooftop solar panel array consisting of almost 3,000 panels, the centre has reduced its carbon output by some 220 tonnes annually, enough to power more than 218 homes each year. On the eve of World Earth Day, this investment demonstrates Lidl’s commitment to sustainability, allowing the retailer to generate more than 20% of the new facility's energy requirement by solar power, making Lidl’s Mullingar distribution centre one of the most sustainable logistics facilities in Europe.

Minister Peter Burke, Minister of State for European Affairs and Defence, who was born in Mullingar and represents the people of Longford-Westmeath, officially opened the facility along with a host of local representatives, suppliers, business partners, and Lidl employees.  At the opening Minister Burke commented “This is a momentous occasion for Mullingar and the Irish food industry as we celebrate the inauguration of this outstanding facility. With an investment of €80 million, this facility will not only create 100 new jobs, but also make a significant contribution towards a more sustainable future by harnessing solar power to meet a substantial portion of its energy requirements.

“I am honoured to officially open the building, and I commend Lidl for their commitment to our local community and for their support of Ireland's green agenda. I am confident that this investment will have a positive impact on the region, and I look forward to witnessing its continued growth and success." 

Speaking at the official opening in Mullingar, Alan Barry, Chief Development Officer at Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to officially open our new state-of-the-art facility today as evidence of our ongoing investment and commitment to the Irish food sector and to Westmeath. The newly expanded distribution centre will now be Lidl’s largest distribution centre on the island, equivalent in size to approximately nine Aviva stadiums”.

“This investment in Mullingar supports Lidl’s growing footprint of stores nationwide and is in line with our ongoing €550 million three-year expansion plan, which we first announced in 2021. As part of this plan, we’re also on track to deliver several new stores this year with Clonmel, Kilkenny and Ballincollig opening earlier this year and Limerick and Bettystown set to open in the next few months.

Originally built in 2008 to service stores in the North Dublin, Midlands, and Northwest of the country, the Mullingar facility has expanded over the past ten years to keep up with the retailer’s growing footprint. This project created nearly 1,000 local construction jobs during the construction phase to extend the facility by 15,000m2, bringing the total size to 62,000m2. This expansion allows Lidl to increase capacity by one third and it is a core part of Lidl’s supply chain network, serving its network of 177 stores across the country.

Operating 24 hours a day, the warehouse can hold approximately 42,000 pallets at one time, an increase of 10,000 pallets due to the extension. Products are received centrally and sorted before allocation to stores. Lidl's unique approach of receiving goods directly from suppliers to centralised warehouses greatly increases efficiency, speed, and agility in how stock is managed. This approach also reduces the number of journeys required to deliver stock and as a result further reduces the retailer's carbon footprint while also helping to ensure Lidl continues to offer the best prices and the freshest produce for their customers nationwide.

Lidl employs nearly 400 people in Westmeath across its distribution centre and 3 stores in the county. The retailer also procured more than €2.5 million worth of goods from Westmeath suppliers in 2022.

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