Are Sainsbury’s considering pulling out of Northern Ireland?

Sainsbury’s is to close its Craigavon store with 109 jobs at risk. The bigger question is are they considering pulling out of Northern Ireland altogether? From the BBC story:

The union has questioned whether Brexit has been a factor in the decision.

Ms Trainor said: “The rationale offered by Sainsbury’s for this closure include changing demographics, which makes little sense except that as a cover for the impact of post-Brexit trading arrangements under the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

In April, Sainsbury’s said it had slumped to a £261m loss despite bumper food and Argos sales during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company has 13 stores in Northern Ireland out of a total of over 600 stores in the UK. They may decide that Northern Ireland is not worth the hassle.

Tesco and Lidl both operate North and South so it is easier for them to cope with the new rules and regulations.

I like Sainsbury’s, it would be a shame to see them go. If it does happen the Brexit supporting DUP will get a real backlash from its voters. They may pray M&S don’t up sticks or they will really get it in the neck.

When it comes to supermarkets the big question is how do we get Aldi to come to Northern Ireland? Lidl do really well here, so very odd their German rival does not open up here.