Tesco entered Ireland through acquisition in 1997. Most of its stores traded as Tesco Ireland but it recently rebranded many larger stores just as Tesco and has introduced the Tesco Extra format. In As of 2012, Tesco has 137 stores in Ireland.
The average floorspace of Tesco's Irish stores are is around 60% larger than the UK equivalent, with an average floorspace of 25109 sq ft in 2012. This gives it a market share of 28.2%.
Ireland’s retail market is currently expanding rapidly, and its retail laws have been relaxed (read more). This gives Tesco a major opportunity for expansion in a country close to the UK. In 2007, Tesco opened a new 740,000 sq ft distribution centre in Donabate, Dublin. In August 2007 Tesco announced a "substantially bigger" store opening programme for the following year, with 240,000 sq m representing a 10% growth. Tesco has continued to expand its operations with 9 new stores opening in 2011.
Read indymedia coverage of a picket by Polish temporary agency workers and supported by other workers at a Tesco distribution centre in Ireland. Tesco was also criticised for replacing their cleaners with checkout staff.