Sign of times as Lidl eyes Habitat store...
Upmarket furniture store Habitat could be replaced in the city centre by a discount supermarket.
German retail giant Lidl is one of only two businesses -- the other an overseas bank -- pitching for the lease of the massive store, located off the bottom of Grafton Street on College Green.
Lidl and fellow discount chain Aldi have seen a significant increase in business since the effects of the credit crunch.
They have also been helped by a recent National Consumer Agency survey. The research found that a basket of 28 own-brand goods was more than 50pc cheaper in Lidl than in Tesco or Dunnes Stores.
Several leases available on Grafton Street have been slow to sell because of the deterioration in consumer spending.
Property adviser CB Richard Ellis has predicted that business premises on the high street will only sell when values have been cut by 50pc.
Lidl is not the only big-name trader to have checked out the former Habitat store.
Nearby trader Avoca did so as did US clothing giant Abercrombie.
The latter said they would not open a store anywhere near Grafton Street because of its poor image and unattractive mix of shops.
Report by Cormac Murphy - Evening Herald