Dunnes Stores won a legal dispute against discount stores in a proceeding in which a High Court judge was asked to define which goods should be classified as groceries.

Judge Mark Sanfei, in his judgment, said that the term “food” in the rental agreement at the heart of the dispute between Dunnes Stores and the operator of the Price Store is “beyond food or food.” It will be expanded. “

The judge also determined that the term “food” includes “frequently purchased non-durable consumer goods.”

Other items that the judge considers to be groceries include health care products, household items, and cleaning products. Pet care and pet food; Bath amenities; Hair care products, detergents; Powder detergents; Cleaning products; Shampoos; Toothbrushes; Toothpaste; Kitchen towels and toilet paper.

Anchor tenant

The proceedings involved opening a Mr Price store in Valor Valley Retail Park on the border between Carlow and Leish, and Dunes is an anchor tenant on 65,000 square feet of land.

Dunnes argued that as part of the contract to become an anchor tenant, the rental agreement with the owners of other units in the park included an exclusive clause to prevent competition with the supermarket chain.

Dunnes and retail park landlord Camgill Property ASé Ltd, born of the opening of the Mr Price store in 2020, have filed a proceeding against Dafora Unlimited Company and Corajio Unlimited Trading as “Mr Price Branded Bargains.”

Dunnes claimed that, in violation of the terms of the lease, Price was selling goods from its outlet, the grocery store, in a retail park that was not eligible for sale.

On behalf of Martin Hayden SC, he demanded that a permanent injunction should be granted to prevent Price’s outlets from selling certain products. Dunnes operates as a supermarket, hypermarket, grocery store, discount food store, frozen food store, mini food market, convenience store, or similar facility due to the restrictions contained in the lease. He claimed to have banned him from doing so. Food, food, groceries.

Defendant denied the allegation and rejected the grocery classification promoted by Dunnes.

In a ruling in favor of Dunes, Judge Sanfei said the word “food” is a familiar word to everyone.

He said that most people would be comfortable using the word, and when asked, would immediately recognize its friendliness and think they understood its meaning.

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He said that if Mr. Price removed all food and groceries according to his classification, it would be the court’s view according to the restrictions.

This would remove the threat of competition in retail parks, which the lease restrictions were intended to address, he said.

The judge added that he was confident that the parties could reach a business-like arrangement for any item in dispute, rather than resorting to further legal action.

The matter will be returned to court at a later date after the final order is given in the proceedings.

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