Business

Deli-Lites closes Belfast city centre premises

Deli-Lites closed its Belfast city centre branch on Wednesday
Gareth McKeown

CO Down-based sandwich maker Deli-Lites has become the latest business to close its Belfast city centre premises.

The company, which produces around 12 million hand-made sandwiches, wraps and salads a year as part of its wholesale business and distributes across Ireland, has confirmed the closure of its café on Lombard Street following the conclusion of a 10-year lease.

The shutters officially came down on Wednesday at a cost of seven jobs.

The café employed 15 people, with eight staff retained and dispersed across the company's other four outlets.

The Warrenpoint-based firm said the closure was not due to the Primark fire on August 28 and will allow for further growth in its European export business.

"We have decided to focus our efforts on the remaining four regional cafés and drive the European exporting ambitions of the wholesale business further. We’d like to thank our loyal customers for their service over 10 years, "a spokesperson for Deli-Lites said.

The news comes after Ashers Bakery said this week it would not be renewing the lease on its Royal Avenue outlet, with the dramatic drop in footfall following the August 28 fire cited by the company as a major factor.

The latest Springboard figures, published last week show that retail footfall in Belfast fell by 30 per cent in September, while across the north a reduction of 4.6 per cent was reported - a sharper rate of decline than both the three month (-1.7 per cent) and 12 month (-1.9 per cent) averages.

Deli-Lites was founded by Brian and Jackie Reid in 1998 and is based outside Warrenpoint, employing around 250 people.

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