Mr Price Group to appeal court ruling over sale of groceries in Carlow/Laois business park

The ‘Mr Price’ group are to appeal a High Court ruling that they cannot sell certain groceries from a store in a retail park where Dunnes Stores is the anchor tenant.

Last month Judge Mark Sanfey ruled that Dafora Unlimited Co had breached its lease at Barrow Valley Retail Park on the Carlow/Laois border by selling certain items from its Mr Price store in the centre.

Indeed, there is a clause in the retail park lease which prohibits a competing supermarket from operating alongside the anchor tenant, Dunnes.

The judge concluded that “groceries”, as contained in a rental agreement, “extends beyond food or groceries”.

Grocery Sense

He said groceries include “non-durable consumable household items that are purchased frequently.”

Other items include health products, household and maintenance products; pet care and pet food; bathroom toiletries; hair care products, detergents; washing powder; Cleaners; shampoos; toothbrushes; toothpaste; kitchen towels and toilet paper rolls, he found.

Dunnes and the mall’s owners, Camgill Property A Sé Ltd, had brought an action against Dafora, claiming to be “Mr Price Branded Bargains”.

A permanent injunction has been sought to prevent the Barrow Valley Mr Price store from selling certain items. Dafora opposed the request.

Judge Sanfey, in his ruling, granted the injunction.

The matter returned to the judge on Wednesday when Rossa Fanning SC, for Dafora, said her client would appeal the decision and separately seek a stay of the costs award to Dunnes.

The judge granted the stay of charges and following a request for clarification from Martin Hayden SC, for Dunnes, also said the stay did not apply to the court’s order prohibiting the sale of the items in the names of the Mr Price store.

Earlier, following Mr Hayden’s comments, the judge also said he would review the exact terms of his order over the next week before it was released to the parties.

He did not want to make “a blanket form of injunction” that could result in a request by Dunnes to sequester Dafora’s assets for breaching the court order.

The court also heard that an issue remained between the parties regarding Dunnes’ claim that Dafora account for profits resulting from the breach of the lease condition.

Dafora opposes the claim on grounds such as the fact that Dunnes did not seek damages in his action.

About Patrick K. Moon

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