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20|Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie

Retail Group Review

BWG: Brands Working Great!

SPAR Dame Street in Dublin City Centre, one of SPAR’s iconic stores in Ireland.

BWG Foods is one of the strongest voices in Irish grocery, via the SPAR, EUROSPAR, MACE, XL and Xpress Stop brands. BWG Foods is a leading, Irish-owned wholesale and retail company. It operates the SPAR, EUROSPAR, MACE, XL and Xpress Stop brands in the Republic of Ireland, with over 900 stores across the country. The wholesale division of BWG Foods also includes BWG Foodservice and a nationwide network of 22 Value Centre cash and carry outlets. As owners and operators of these leading retail brands, BWG Foods provides retailers with many benefits from a marketing, training and operational point of view, as well as access to years of retail experience. Importantly, support is tailored to meet the ethos of each brand and the needs of the individual retailer. BWG Foods provides dedicated multi-dimensional marketing and advertising campaigns for each individual brand, spanning national and local media, and supported by public relations. There is frequent promotional activity, plus deep discount tactical promotions,

high impact in-store displays, rewards programmes, point of sale materials and consumer promotions to drive consumer footfall. Retailers are supported with bespoke training programmes for staff, food safety and fresh food advice, category management and individual programmes for promoting store standards. Across 2012 and 2013, BWG Foods invested in a number of very significant new distribution facilities to drive the business. The group opened a major new National Distribution Centre (NDC) located in Kilcarbery Business Park, Dublin 22. BWG Foods’ entire ambient distribution, including the company’s bonded warehouse, have now been brought together in this 240,000 square feet, state-of-the-art facility, making it one of the biggest in the country. BWG Foods also opened a new nationwide Fresh and Chilled Distribution facility in 2012. The group entered into an exclusive partnership with Donnelly’s, resulting in the estab-

lishment of a bespoke 35,000 square feet delivery hub at Kilshane Cross in North County Dublin. BWG Foods has relationships with more than 400 suppliers, dealing directly with approximately 14,000 customers in the retail, foodservice and licensed sectors. Through its branded retail estate, BWG Foods and its retailers provide employment to over 20,000 people and serve in excess of one million customers every single day. SPAR SPAR is one of the country’s largest convenience retail groups, and in 2013 celebrated its 50th anniversary in Ireland. From the time it opened its first store in Dublin in 1963, the brand has been a leading light in Irish convenience retailing, bringing consumers the most innovative in-store offerings and retail experience. The group includes SPAR for neighbourhood shopping and SPAR Express for forecourt shopping.


Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie|21

Retail Group Review While convenience is the foundation on which the SPAR brand is built, the offering is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of consumers. Today, SPAR is more focused on price and value than ever before, and while the offer is always evolving, it is SPAR’s firm belief that they are not in the food business serving people but in the people business serving food, which means superior customer service is also key to success. Aside from SPAR’s passion for retail and drive to be the best in the market, SPAR offers its retail partners unrivalled support in order to help run sustainable, profitable businesses. Being part of SPAR International means SPAR retailers belong to a brand that is setting best-practice standards right across the world. SPAR continues to invest in new and bespoke products and in-store offerings. The SPAR Own Brand range currently runs to over 700 products. According to independent research, SPAR is ahead of the market in its performance on Own Brand, which is testament to the quality, value, breadth of range, investment in new products and advertising and marketing investment to drive sales. In September 2013, SPAR launched a new Own Brand TV advertising campaign. SPAR also has a number of exclusive offerings, including coffee partnerships with Insomnia

CONTACT INFORMATION: SPAR Head Office: BWG Foods, Greenhills Road, Walkinstown, Dublin 12. Tel. 01-4090300.

SPAR Contacts:

Malachy Hanberry, Sales and Retail Advisory Services Director, 086 6055621, mhanberry@bwg.ie; Colin Donnelly, National Sales Manager 086 3803924, cdonnelly@bwg.ie ; Peter Dwan, Regional Manager (Leinster) 086 0436113, pdwan@bwg.ie; Barry Doyle, Regional Manager (Munster) 086 0230892, barrydoyle@bwg.ie; Sean Carter, Regional Manager (Connaught & Ulster), 086 8285050, scarter@bwg.ie

and Tim Hortons, to drive sales and differentiation for SPAR retailers and the brand. SPAR continually invests in promoting the SPAR brand through a number of high profile sponsorships, including RTE’s Fair City, with ‘Christy’s SPAR shop’, and Donal Skehan’s Kitchen Hero, ensuring the brand stays to the fore of consumers’ minds. 2013 also saw the introduction of a new community programme, the SPAR Helping Hand Community Fund, which gifted charities and community groups across the country with €50,000 to celebrate SPAR’s 50th anniversary in Ireland. The programme was fronted by Ireland’s Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor.

Tobin’s SPAR Express in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

SPAR’s iconic Christmas TV Ad won the best Retail Ad in 2013. The ad showcases the brand’s iconic tree and strapline ‘Under the tree at SPAR’. The SPAR brand has also been very successful in its digital and social media programme, with an impressive following of over 150,000 fans on SPAR’s Facebook page. Above all else, SPAR aims to recruit retailers who share their vision for the SPAR brand and who will collaborate with the group to achieve this vision. SPAR consumers have come to expect a high level of consistency in terms of product, price and service, no matter what store they visit. In terms of new stores openings, 2013 is a record year for SPAR since recession hit Ireland in 2007. EUROSPAR EUROSPAR has been operating in Ireland since 1997. BWG Foods works in partnership with independent local retailers, serving local communities around Ireland and supporting local jobs, suppliers, producers and community groups. EUROSPAR has been awarded many local and international awards for innovation and best practice in retailing and has international scale through SPAR International with stores in over 36 countries worldwide. EUROSPAR is called “The Supereasy Supermarket” because the stores


22|Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie

Retail Group Review

The 58th SPAR International Congress took visitors to EUROSPAR Hanover Street, Dublin.

are: • easy to get around - they are designed to be open, bright, modern and easy to shop in; • easy to save money in: EUROSPAR promotes ‘Supereasy Savings’ as a way for customers to save every time they shop with EUROSPAR; • easy to get rewards – with the ‘Supereasy Rewards’ programme which also provides a vehicle for targeted communication with local customers; • easy to find help - customer service is one of the pillars of EUROSPAR’s success. The EUROSPAR retailer is supported in such a way that they can become the supermarket of choice in their locality. National and regional advertising campaigns drive awareness and demand to enable the retailer to compete with other supermarkets in their area, as well as marketing programmes which are adapted to the needs of the local store. EUROSPAR retail partners have access to exclusive product offers that can set them apart from competitors – everyday low pricing; strong promotions; exclusive departments such as Chill off-licence, Your Local Butcher, Baker’s Tray and Discounter Deals. The ‘S Budget’ discount range means they can compete with the local

discounter and an ever-expanding Own Brand range gives a quality value alternative for today’s shopper. The EUROSPAR group work with a national charity partner and engage in local community projects. Retailers in the EUROSPAR group have a strong voice through the National EUROSPAR Council of Retailers in driving the direction of the brand’s development and in daily operational activities. The EUROSPAR retailer is customer focused, financially astute and wants to work with BWG Foods to develop the brand at a national and local level. They see the benefit of being an independent supermarket owner in their local community, whilst having CONTACT INFORMATION: EUROSPAR Malachy Hanberry, Sales and Retail Advisory Services Director, 086 6055621, mhanberry@bwg.ie; Sean Lavin, Head of EUROSPAR, 086 2541230, slavin@bwg.ie; Dirk Harding, Retail Operations Advisor (Leinster North), 086-8598525, dharding@bwg.ie; Des Smyth, Retail Operations Advisor (Leinster South), 086-3805488, dsmyth@bwg.ie; Ciaran Quinn, Retail Operations Advisor (Connaught/Ulster), 086 3835900, cquinn@bwg.ie; David Tarrant, Retail Operations Advisor (Munster), 086-0267051, dtarrant@bwg.ie

the backing of marketing, retail operations and store development expertise of BWG Foods. MACE Founded in 1960, MACE is Ireland’s longest established neighbourhood and forecourt convenience shopping brand. With 240 MACE stores around Ireland, MACE retailers have a strong presence on garage forecourts - to serve the needs of people on the move - and neighbourhood stores have the everyday essentials with great Value Deals to make it easier on consumers’ pockets. The MACE brand continues to have a strong pipeline of new stores joining the group in both formats. MACE has been a part of the Irish community for over 50 years so understanding customers remains central to the business. MACE is a convenience retailer that promotes a proposition of “Going the extra smile”, based on the fact that consumer research by Behaviour and Attitudes found MACE is the standout retailer when it comes to valuing its customers. MACE believes in “going the extra smile” by: making sure the right range of products are stocked to meet local shoppers’ needs; store layout is designed and planned to make shopping enjoyable and easy; and customers are greeted with a friendly hello, a smile and a thank you. A MACE retailer has many exclu-


Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie|23

Retail Group Review

Naeem Butt’s MACE store in Black Bull, Drogheda, Co. Louth, is a prime example of a modern MACE neighbourhood convenience store.

sive offerings that can set them apart from their competitors, including: strong promotions; exclusive Fairtrade coffee offerings in partnership with Bewley’s and Perk; strong deli offers; an extensive MACE Own Brand range, including exclusive wine and spirits products; a charity partnership with Irish Autism Action and local community promotions, including the sponsorship of RTÉ Local Heroes. As a partnership, the CONTACT INFORMATION: MACE Alex Banahan, MACE Sales Director, 086 207 3776, abanahan@bwg.ie; John Tully, Regional Manager (Northern Region) 086-8189312, jtully@bwg,ie and Liam Attridge, Regional Manager (Southern Region), 086-8521362 lattridge@bwg.ie

MACE team at BWG Foods supports MACE retailers in many ways – from helping improve store standards through the MACE Excellence programme to on-line training and marketing toolkits. From a people point of view, the MACE team are very accessible; and pride themselves on being there to listen to and help retailers. The MACE Retail Council is an important structure that helps guide the direction of the brand’s development and members of the Council are there to work with the all retailers so that their views are voiced in a structured and proactive way. XL Established by BWG Foods in 1997, XL was set up by the wholesale division in response to a demand for a local retail concept that offered support, whilst allow-

ing retailers to retain their independence and community identity. XL is now one of the fastest growing symbol groups in Ireland, with 30 new stores opening in 2013 and 32 new stores in the pipeline for 2014. With the support of 22 Value Centres nationwide, XL is a progressive neighbourhood store format, providing all the daily staples you would expect from a local store. XL offers retailers the opportunity to retain their independence and local identity, while benefitting from the many advantages of symbol group membership. The group offers a top quality and flexible package, enabling retailers to tailor their shop to consumer needs and react quickly to changing market conditions to help grow their business. Being part of the XL group is a true business

partnership. The XL team are committed to maintaining the highest standards in stores via the XL Store of the Year programme, with 28 accolades presented across different award categories. The XL tag line, ‘A great deal more at your local store’, is what the brand is all about; by delivering value to consumers and remaining an essential part of the local community. As a group of neighbourhood stores run by independent retailers, XL’s ethos is underpinned by a dedication to community retailing, along with price and value. This year, the message at the brand’s annual Retail Forum was ‘Back to Basics’ and saw keynote speakers focusing on these key issues, in order to promote customer loyalty. 2013 was also the year that the XL message of value was brought out of the shop and onto the forecourt with the introduction of ‘corriboards’ to help drive footfall into stores. A strong social media presence – the XL Facebook page now has more than 12,000 fans just one year after launch – and the use of consumer promotions are also central to the XL group. CONTACT INFORMATION: XL & XPRESS STOP

The XL store at The Glen in Cork City was the group’s 200th store nationwide when it opened in 2012.

Colm Fitzsimons, Business Development Manager, 086 8079051, cfitzsimons@bwg.ie


24|Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie

Retail Group Review

SuperValu Soars Ahead 2013 saw numerous awards, new product launches, innovative butchery solutions and the amalgamation of Superquinn stores into the SuperValu network.

to achieve certifiperValu range, with 181 new products cation under the introduced in 2013 as part of the continnew Bord Bia Retail ued rollout and growth of the range. Butcher Quality Assurance scheme, Local Commitment In 2013, SuperValu continued to again ensuring our demonstrate its commitment to building meat is fully tracesustainable local communities across able.” Ireland by supporting over 4,000 local The network’s initiatives with charitable contribucommitment to tions in excess of €2.8m. SuperValu is quality was recognised through nu- incredibly proud of its long-standing sponsorship of the TidyTowns commerous awards and petition, which this year witnessed for the second year running, SuperValu record level of entries, with 850 towns taking part. SuperValu also continued scooped the most its sponsorship of the GAA All-Ireland accolades at the Store owners and brothers, Steven, Michael and Joe Nally pictured Senior Football Championship, now in at the opening of the new SuperValu store in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. Blas na hÉireann its fourth year. National Irish Food SUPERVALU is Ireland’s leading Awards, winning 24 in total. community supermarket network, emAddition of Superquinn Stores ploying over 12,000 people in 201 stores 2013 saw the announcement that SuInnovations nationwide and serving over two million perquinn stores will be changing their Recognising changing consumer trends, customers every week. name to SuperValu in 2014. “With the SuperValu introduced ‘Signature “Our unique business model, whereaddition of these 24 stores, SuperValu Tastes’, a new range of over 200 quality by all of our stores are independently will further establish ourselves as the own brand products, which is expected owned and operated by local retailers, number one national Irish retail brand, to generate sales of over €20m in the means that our business is rooted in the enabling more shoppers to access our first year alone. This range is an amaloffer, while incorporating the best of domestic economy and our stores are gamation of the most popular products Superquinn,” Kelleher explains. The at the heart of towns and high streets from the previous SuperValu Supreme integration of these two great Irish across the country,” explains Martin and Superquinn SQ ranges and is 80% brands saw the roll-out of the famous Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperVasupplied by Irish suppliers, demonstrat- Superquinn sausage to all SuperValu lu. ing the group’s on-going commitment stores nationwide during 2013. 2013 saw SuperValu continue to to supporting Irish food, Irish suppliers SuperValu remains focused on expand its network, with the opening and Irish jobs. meeting the needs of their shoppers and of two greenfield sites in Celbridge, SuperValu recently launched demonstrating confidence in the local Co. Kildare, and Miltown Malbay, Co. the SuperValu Sustainable Farming economy, with further developments Clare, which represented a total of 120 Programme, the first Retailer-Farmer in product, range and value planned in new jobs. The Rushe Group of retail outdevelopment programme in Ireland 2014. lets also joined the SuperValu business, designed to create adding a further three stores to the a unique Irish supSuperValu network in Killiney, Dalkey ply chain for beef and Naas. An additional 35 stores were and lamb, which refurbished as part of a €20m investenhances product ment programme. quality, delivers increased efficienQuality Irish Produce cies and improves “At SuperValu, we believe in quality profitability for and together with our retailers, we all partners in the continue to build a brand that is focused supply chain. on delivering unrivalled quality Irish This year, produce,” Kelleher maintains. “This SuperValu demonyear, we became the first retailer in the strated its on-going country to have access to the world’s commitment to valfirst national DNA TraceBack system ue through further for pigs, reassuring our customers of the price reductions, Pictured at the launch of the world’s first national TraceBack system integrity of our bacon products. We also promotions and the for pigs are: Martin Kelleher, SuperValu; Ronan Loftus, IdentiGEN became the first retailer in the country expansion of the Su- Ireland; Donal Brady, IFA Pig Committee member.


Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie|25

Retail Group Review

Strong Year for Centra Centra has continued to outperform the market in 2013, launching its bright new range and meeting the needs of shoppers nationwide.

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Centra, is pictured at the launch of Centra’s bright new Own Brand range.

CENTRA is Ireland’s number one convenience brand, with over 460 stores nationwide, serving over three million customers every week. While trading conditions remain challenging, Centra recorded sales of €1.4 billion in 2012 and has continued to outperform the market in 2013. Centra remains committed to local employment and sourcing from local producers. The total purchases of Irish goods made by Centra was worth over €1bn to the Irish economy, serving to both create and protect Irish jobs. Centra employs over 10,000 staff across the country, making it one of Ireland’s largest employers. Expansion 2013 saw significant growth across the Centra store network, with a €20m investment programme and the addition of 20 new Centra stores, including a new 5,000

square foot store on Lower Abbey Street in Dublin. In 2013, Centra succeeded in meeting the needs of value conscious shoppers through an excellent value offering, while remaining loyal to its brand values of supporting local communities. The launch of Centra’s bright new Own Brand range earlier this year represented an €8m investment for the brand and included 900 products. The range demonstrated Centra’s on-going commitment to supporting local suppliers, with 110 Irish suppliers out of a total 150 suppliers. Initial performance of this innovative range has been strong and is expected to continue to grow in 2014. Community Support Centra’s partnership with the Irish Cancer Society’s Action Breast Cancer programme is in its fourth year, with over a million euro raised for the

charity to date. The series of ‘Pink Walks’ continued to grow in 2013 with 200 Centra stores nationwide hosting an event, almost triple the amount of pink walks which were held last year. 23 counties saw their communities turn pink as they took to the streets of their local towns and villages, with e225,000 raised for this worthy cause. In a further effort to raise funds for the campaign, Centra invited students to design a Bag for Life, with the winning design going on sale across the Centra network. 2013 marked the fourth year of Centra’s sponsorship of the GAA Hurling All

Ó hAilpín, got together with Centra to spread the GAA message through a series of family community hurling events in stadiums and clubs throughout the summer. The success of these events was evidenced by the attendance of over 1,200 children at 10 different locations around the country. Bright Ideas This year, Centra helped their customers to overcome the doom and gloom of Budget Day and Blue Monday, widely recognised as the most depressing day of the year, by offering them coffee or tea for just 1 cent. “In 2014, Centra will con-

200 Centra Pink walks took place during October to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society’s Action Breast Cancer. Over ten thousand participants collectively walked an amazing 50,000 kilometres through villages and cities around Ireland to raise badly needed funds.

Ireland Championship and further demonstrated the group’s commitment to bring the game of hurling to towns and villages all across Ireland. This year, Centra continued to build on the success of its GAA community events. Hurling stars, including Henry Shefflin and Seán Óg

tinue to build on our strong foundations by delivering great value for money offers, product innovation, excellence in our people, an unrivalled consumer experience and above all,” concludes Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, “keeping the consumer at the heart of everything we do.”


26|Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie

Retail Group Review

Londis Leaps Ahead in 2013

Londis has enjoyed a tremendous 2013,with healthy profits, prestigious awards and a new heavyweight campaign, Local Like You.

Londis CEO, Stephen O’Riordan is pictured with guest speaker, former Irish international rugby star, Keith Wood, at the 2013 Annual Londis Conference in Carton House, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.

EARLIER this year, Londis surveyed its retailers to get a picture of the service and support they receive. The results showed an overwhelmingly positive response, with a 98% satisfaction rating amongst Londis retailers. In such a difficult and competitive market, it is remarkable that a symbol group can enjoy such levels of retailer approval. But with Londis, it’s not difficult to see why. Londis, as a group, are continually striving to develop and sustain crucial points of difference for their retailers and customers and this is evident, particularly in the last three years, with many of the Group’s most noteworthy and innovative initiatives coming hot on the heels of each other. The provision of

iPads and intelligent retailing in 2010 was followed in 2011 by the launch of iSIS©, Londis’ unique intelligent ordering platform and subsequently the launch of the Group’s award winning Centralised Chill facility in 2012. All of this was followed by a significant brand investment in 2013. CEO Stephen O’Riordan credits the Group’s unique ownership structure, “owned by retailers for retailers,” as pivotal to these innovations. “The fact that we are not obligated to non-retailer shareholders, combined with our low net debt position, means that the Group can invest solely for the benefit of its retail members and enjoys a retailer autonomy which other symbol groups may

not,” he explains. “It is as a result of this unique structure and with the support of the Group’s retail directors that Londis has been able to continuously and decisively innovate with the overriding aim of enhancing the net profit position of our retailers.” Londis’ cooperative roots are very much at the heart of the Group’s business and it is this ethos which is central to how the Group is managed. Supporting its retailers through half a decade of economic austerity, the Group’s stated commitment is to pass savings back to Londis retailers and through continued enhancement of its centralised chilled and ambient offerings, it is doing just that.


Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie|27

Retail Group Review

Londis’ new TV campaign is designed to show the important place Londis holds in the community by personifying the store as a constant presence in everyone’s life.

Profitable Throughout Economic Austerity During a period in which some of the country’s biggest companies across a variety of sectors have incurred substantial losses and carry heavy debt burdens, ADM Londis plc has remained profitable (reporting a profit of €1.23m in 2012) throughout the recession, while continuing to deliver significant price reductions and efficiencies to its retailers. Such continued profitability in such a difficult environment is a very noteworthy achievement, delivered by means of strong management, continued innovation and the support of an exceptionally loyal retailer base. Although 2013 results will not be released until April 2014, the Group expects to continue this solid profitability trend, on the back of strong organic (like for like) trading and good inroads made by its ADM Wholesale offering. Indeed, as the Group maximises the opportunity that both its Centralised Chilled and Ambient facilities present for Londis retailers in releasing savings and bringing even more offers to the table, it’s no surprise that sales are performing so well. The Group has also enjoyed aggressive growth in its ADM Wholesale division, with over 60 new accounts opened since the start of the year (including the extremely competitive DAA tender) and sales growth of close to 60%. Again it is indicative of the Group’s superb pricing and promotional offering that it has made such headway in a notoriously price competitive sector, according to O’Riordan. Centralised Chill: One Year On Last year we looked at Londis’ new Centralised Chill facility, probably the Group’s most significant strategic achievement in recent years. One year on, and it seems that this has been a

defining investment by Londis, as its retailers enjoy the benefits of a well-developed and well managed Centralised Chill facility. In July of this year, the Group picked up a richly deserved industry award, ‘Best Fresh Logistics/ Supply Chain’, in acknowledgement of the innovation and efficiency of the Londis chilled facility. The team at Londis was applauded for delivering a fully-optimised logistics solution which is delivering real efficiencies and savings to Londis retailers. “We are delighted to be recognised by the industry in this way, a little over one year since we launched our Centralised Chill facility,” O’Riordan noted. “Drawing on cutting edge technologies, the chilled facility has streamlined our operations and generated efficiencies and savings both for Londis retailers, and in turn for their customers. The facility now incorporates over 1,500 product lines from 55 suppliers and has become a one stop shop for the chill product requirements of many Londis retailers.”

Local Like You Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of 2013 for Londis has been the launch of a multi-faceted media campaign ‘Local like You’ in July of this year, which followed an extensive brand review process. The group has invested over €1m in the campaign, which highlights exactly what makes Londis different from other retailers in Ireland. Because Londis is owned and run by locals and because each Londis retailer is a part of the community they serve, each Londis is shaped by, and for, the local community in which it operates. In other words – it’s local like you. In developing this new campaign, Londis wanted to show that alongside an excellent range of product and excellent prices, Londis retailers add value in so many different ways to communities around Ireland. The new advert cleverly portrays this, demonstrating a Londis retailer who is incorporated into various parts of community life, including a still life art class, the local five-a-side team, a family movie night and the local needle work club. Putting the Customer First From Londis’ new Local Like You brand positioning has grown another very significant initiative for the Group and its retailers, the launch of the new ‘Customer First’ customer care programme in Londis stores nationwide, an initiative which was launched at the Annual Londis Retailer Conference, held in early October. This new Customer Service Training Programme aims to encourage stores to build on their existing customer service team ethos, bringing an enhanced level of personal service to their customers. It encourages retailers and their employees to use their own local knowledge to deliver a level of personal service which is unsurpassed within their local

FROM THE MOUTHS OF RETAILERS… “GIVEN the margin challenges that face independent retailers, it was imperative that we chose a symbol partner who was best positioned to support and grow our margin. As Londis is overseen by its retailers, I felt no other group could give me the same reassurances in terms of lower prices and margin enhancing initiatives. To date, the support the team in Londis has offered Londis Cleaboy has been excellent and I look forward to working together with Londis to bring the store to a new place competitively”. Kevin Jephson, Londis Cleaboy, Co. Waterford “Being a part of Londis has always contributed to the success of our store in

Malahide. No other group is as well placed to support your margin. And, as one of eight retailer representatives on the Londis board, it’s down to me to make sure it stays that way – for all of our retailers”. John Shiel, Londis Plus Malahide, Co. Dublin “AS a second generation retailer, retail is a big part of who I am. But like many independent retailers today, business can be difficult and the pressure on margin is tough. With Londis, I know I’m with the group who will best support my business. And they’re a good crew to have on my side!” Hugh Martin, Londis Tomnalossett, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford


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Retail Group Review

an exceptional package to offer prospective retailers, the Group is confident that new retailers will see real benefits to their business in terms of improved net profits. When asked his views on a possible turnaround in retail fortunes, Stephen O’Riordan remarked, “Having the 2014 budget earlier this year should prove positive in the run-up to Christmas, as thankfully, we have avoided creating a climate of uncertainty for consumers. The reduction in the fiscal adjustment required in 2014 and the fact that income taxes remained untouched should also result in improved consumer confidence as we enter 2014. We are, however, concerned at the increase in excise duties on alcohol, which has led to Irish alcohol prices being now 63% higher than the EU average. As a very discretionary spend, it’s likely that consumers will not continue to pay over the odds for this category. On balance, however, indications are that we have overcome the worst of the recession and consumer sentiment is improving, which should lead to growth in 2014.” As a company that has invested heavily over the past few years and whose retailers now enjoy an infrastructure they could only have dreamed about five years ago, it seems that Londis and its retailers have much to be optimistic about when it comes 2014. Londis brings multiple-challenging value to customers across Ireland, whilst delivering excellent margin to Londis retailers.

communities and to tap into what differentiates locally owned and managed Londis stores from larger multiples and discount stores. The programme will help each retailer to demonstrate just how much they care about the community of which they are a part and the local people that they serve. The Road Ahead Following significant infrastructural investment in recent years and this year’s

substantial brand focus, the Group is firmly looking at growth in 2014. Londis’ plan centres on building organic performance through investment in brand image, and focusing on the performance of key fresh categories in stores. The Group will also continue to unlock more efficiencies, savings and better margins for its retail members. Furthermore, capitalising on the Group’s positive recruitment drive in 2013, Londis is very much focused on building momentum around store recruitment in 2014. With

THE BENEFITS OF LONDIS Some of the reasons Londis retailers enjoy a 98% satisfaction rating, include: • An award winning supply chain; • An intelligent order platform, iSIS©; • The Group’s absolute commitment to passing savings back to Londis retailers; • Over 600 promotional offers each cycle; • Strong promotional margins; • A service level of no less than 97%; • One transparent price file for the best possible prices.


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WE’RE WORKING ON THE OTHER 2% N E RS h N I W FRE IN’ t a ‘BES ly ch p ’ 3 1 p 20 F r e s h Su

we’re delighted to announce that a recent survey amongst our retailers showed a massive 98% satisfaction rating overall. n i t ds which means that with our industry leading supply chain, isIs©, ‘BesAwAr 97% service levels and our utmost commitment to passing savings back to our retailers, there’s never been a better time to be part of the Londis group. Visit www.londis.ie/retailer-survey now to download the full survey and find out how joining Ireland’s best symbol group could vastly increase your satisfaction levels too.


30|Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie

Retail Group Review

Brilliant Year for Barry Group Barry Group, which includes the Costcutter and Carry Out franchises, successfully launched chill distribution during a strong trading year in 2013. called BEACON, allows the retailer greater control and flexibility when placing orders with Barry Group. “Our new chill distribution is best in class,” continues Jim Barry, “and we are confident of our logistical system in the country. Our retailers now have the ability to place orders at their fingertips using the latest technology. Jim Barry, Managing Director of the Barry Group, and Holly Barry, are They have the full pictured at the launch of Barry Group’s €1m nationwide chill distribution solution to make solution. one complete order, IT has been a busy year for the convenience sector, the which will arrive as one Barry Group. In spite of a roll-out of chill distribution delivery, cutting out the time challenging retail market, has been a welcome addiwasted on managing numerthe Mallow-based wholesale tion to our current service ous deliveries by various distributor has continued to offering.” suppliers. There is also the grow its franchise business, added advantage of a threeand successfully launched a Chill Distribution day-a-week delivery service.” nationwide chill distribution Chill distribution was cerservice. With the growth of discounters continuing to take market share from the convenience channel, 2013 was all about expanding the current market offering to improve the standard of service provided by Barry Group to its customers. “When we looked forward to 2013, we wanted to make sure that our Costcutter retailers were not impacted by the challenges faced by others, in particular maintaining a consistent supply of chilled and frozen goods,” says Barry Group MD Jim Barry. “Considering how difficult the trading environment has been, especially in

tainly one of the most significant developments of 2013, following a €1m investment by Barry Group. The Group is expecting significant return on this investment. “This new nationwide distribution channel is expected to generate additional sales in excess of €200m over the next five years,” says Jim Barry. “It will also result in significant increases in sales and profit margins for our Costcutter retailers.” These increases will be generated through cost and time efficiencies achieved by an innovative and intuitive ordering system. The specially developed software supporting chill distribution,

New Franchisees Barry Group have opened 16 new franchise stores in 2013 and are hopeful to match this number again in 2014. “While we expect that 2014 will be another challenging year, we are fully committed to supporting our retailers,” says Jim Barry. “To build on the success of chill distribution, we are al-

ready planning on launching frozen distribution. Through chill, we have been able to help our customers improve their chill offering. Frozen distribution will be another wonderful opportunity to grow our business, and that of our retailers and supply partners.” Forward Planning “We strongly believe in providing a profitable retail solution to our franchisee customers and are proud of the reputation we have earned for providing excellent value of money,” says Jim Barry. “Our key strength, however, is our commitment to customer service. We have worked really hard this year to create a genuine partnership with our customers – both retailers and suppliers – to add value to their business and strengthen their own brand reputation. “We want to be the very best in business,” he concludes. “This means continuously looking for innovation and delivering an excellent service every time. 2013 has been all about getting closer to our customers by spending more time at retail store level. Looking forward to 2014, our customers will remain our number one priority.”

A BIT OF BARRY HISTORY ESTABLISHED by James A. Barry in 1955, Barry Group is one of Ireland’s leading wholesale distribution companies. Operating from a state-of-the-art distribution centre in Mallow, Co. Cork, Barry Group manages 265 franchises under the Costcutter, Carry Out, BuyLo and Quik Pick brands. In business for over 50 years, Barry Group employs 240 people at its headquarters in Upper Quartertown, Mallow, Co. Cork. The company also trades internationally in more than 15 countries.


ANOTHER GREAT REASON TO JOIN CHILLED DISTRIBUTION INCREASE YOUR SALES INCREASE YOUR VALUE INCREASE YOUR MARGIN Proud to be local

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32|Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie

Retail Group Review

Gala Performance!

The Gala group continues to grow from strength to strength, with 21 new stores opening over the course of 2013.

Models Pippa O’Connor and Daniella Moyles are pictured at the launch of Gala’s Summer BBQ Series, as part of their fundraising initiative with the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation.

Gary Desmond, Gala CEO.

ESTABLISHED in 1998, Gala is one of Ireland’s premium convenience retailers, employing over 3,000 people in its retail and wholesale operations in Ireland. Operating on the principle of ‘Partnership Through Independence’, Gala enables independent retailers to compete and trade successfully, whilst partnering them with a network of 16 wholesale distribution outlets across Ireland. With over 255 stores affiliated to the Gala group across symbol brands including Gala, Gala Express and Checkout stores, the Gala Head Office works with retailers on a continual basis to optimise elements such as value propositions, store design, customer service and information technology for the success of each store. Gala stores have access to buying power in excess of €2 billion through the Group’s association with the Stonehouse buying group. This buying power ensures that Gala stores can offer quality products at value prices, a combination that is crucial in today’s competitive convenience sector. Gala is known for its great one-to-one service. It also places great importance on developing relationships with local wholesalers and is committed to delivering high standards of custom-

er service, whilst supporting the communities that it serves. Consolidation within the retail sector continues, albeit at a slower pace. Whilst a small number of Gala stores did close during 2013, the Group achieved its objectives and was on par with expectations, despite the continuing challenges within the retail environment. 21 new Gala Group stores will have opened by the end of 2013. Gala’s stores are performing well in the current market, which is a testament to the growing strength of the Gala offering. The Gala Group have a robust group of dynamic retailers who are all committed to excellence in retailing. Gala’s Brand Goals Gala is a young, enthusiastic and vibrant convenience retail brand that prides itself on its professionalism and the quality of all its retailers. Brand research demonstrates that Gala presents a uniquely Irish shopping experience and the Group is actively working towards achieving its ultimate brand goal of being recognised by Irish consumers as their local convenience store; a store that is determined to support Irish producers, while at the same time offering its loyal customers fantastic value. Ensuring Retailer Success Retailer support has always been at the core of what Gala Retail Services offers, playing a critical role within the business proposition, along with innovative fresh food initiatives, enhanced promotional offerings, partnerships with suppliers and category management and investing in new technologies to improve both the Gala retailer and customer experience.


Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie|33

Retail Group Review

To celebrate Gala’s 15th anniversary, Nadia Forde was on hand to announce Gala’s exciting giveaway, whereby 15 lucky people won the chance to come home to Ireland for The Gathering.

In 2013, the group launched the Gala Training Academy, an online training solution designed to support on-site training. Plans are afoot to add additional training courses in 2014. Gala celebrates retailer success at its annual retail conference with the Gala B.E.S.T Awards. Designed to acknowledge and applaud excellence in retail standards and customer service, the Awards recognise the ongoing commitment to excellence that is at the heart of all Gala stores. The awards acknowledge Gold, Silver and Bronze standard winners, in addition to category awards for specialisms in retailing. Supporting Retailers & Rewarding Customers As the Gala brand name is associated with the very essence of the community, every corporate level decision made reinforces and supports this focus. Gala prides itself on the community support that it provides to each of its retailers, as well as their community-based initiatives, no matter how large or small. This includes all forms of fundraising, community support and online digital promotion. Essentially, Gala is a national brand with a local focus. Gala undertook a number of initiatives in 2013, in part to celebrate its 15th Anniversary but also to further support its retailers and reward its customers. Initiatives included: • A huge giveaway

to celebrate Gala’s 15th Anniversary. Galaunched a nationwide campaign with international appeal to give 15 lucky people the chance to return home to Ireland for a gathering of their choice. Entries

around the country. • An elevated, integrated Gala marketing campaign comprised of social media, above the line, sponsorship, traditional PR and trade elements. • The introduction of ‘Hot and Healthier @ Gala’, a delicious deli sandwich range that allowed customers to build a personalised sandwich while being calorie conscious. • And finally, as part of its corporate social responsibility activities, Gala hosted over 50 BBQs at stores across the country over the summer months in aid of the Jack and Jill Children’s Charity. Gala’s Marketing Strategy Gala believes that innovation is key to the success

Food Managers John Ireland and Ben McGinn are pictured at the launch of ‘Hot and Healthier @ Gala’, a delicious deli sandwich range that allows customers to build a personalised sandwich, while being calorie conscious.

flooded in from all corners of the world, including Abu Dhabi, Australia, USA, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, Panama, Belgium, Switzerland, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Kenya, Philippines, Latvia, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden and South Africa. An association with Disney surrounding the launches of Wreck it Ralph, Monsters University and Frozen enabled Gala to host preview screenings of the blockbuster animations for Gala customers

of all of its stores, which is why it continues to explore new and inventive ways to enhance the customer’s experience. Its marketing strategy embraces the latest digital and social media platforms, together with abovethe-line activity, sponsorship and trade relations. Each element actively positions the brand as a modern, vibrant and innovative Irish company that is at the heart of communities throughout the country. Group Expansion The group is setting ambi-

tious growth goals for 2014, with plans to add a further 20 new stores to its network. Due to the huge emphasis that Gala places on the consumer shopping experience, it will manage the final roll-out of its ambitious store re-branding project, which is on track for completion by the end of 2014. Gala will also launch its chilled distribution platform, with more details being made available in the new year. Gala will also continue to invest in building the Gala brand, as well as consumer awareness of its offering. This continued commitment strengthens Gala’s relationship with its stores as it looks to expand into a wider geographical area and build its customer base. Partnering With Gala Gala works with each and every retailer to make them the best at what they do. Partnership is essential and helps retailers deliver a professional and competent retail operation that increases customer satisfaction and drives sales growth. Gala prides itself on its ability to bring out the best in retail and, importantly, it listens to the needs and wants of its retailers, who retain their independence on all levels, something that is key to continued success. Gala has an excellent group of forward-thinking, progressive and proactive retailers who share the vision of the Group. The Group continues to look for progressive retailers who want to grow with Gala. If individuality, provision of exemplary service and simply being the BEST in retailing are important to you, find out more by contacting Gala on 045 910066.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF GALA THE first Gala store opened in Portlaoise in September 1998, with symbol brands now including Gala, Gala Express and Checkout Stores. The Gala Group now has 255 stores affiliated to the group.


34|Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie

Retail Group Review

Daybreak Dawns Bright in 2013 Daybreak remains Ireland’s fastest growing convenience group, with 30 new stores in 2013. DAYBREAK is still Ireland’s fastest growing symbol group and this year an additional 30 new stores joined the Daybreak brand. Currently benefiting from 200 stores nationwide, the Daybreak brand is well positioned for future growth. Retailers have made the smart move in switching to Daybreak, where they can avail of enhanced sales and margin through the Musgrave Group buying power, strong promotional offers and a competitive development cost and marketing fee. The Daybreak brand is committed to ensure that the right range is available when the consumer wants it, with a particular focus on key categories. Another area of focus for the Daybreak

Daybreak’s new in-store bakery range has been carefully selected and includes popular favourites such as French Breads and Danish pastries, alongside a range of artisan and traditional loafs and scones.

new Hot Burrito wraps, Hot Sub rolls, handheld snacks and a range of ‘Our Favourite’ sandwiches. The new Daybreak fresh bean to cup coffee concept, Perfect Blend is now a 100% Arabica espresso bean, which has been carefully roasted to coax the flavours from every bean to create a smooth, full bodied coffee every time. The new products are supplied directly from Musgrave Wholesale Partners and are complemented with new in-store branding and packaging elements to help drive sales in these hero categories. Daybreak stores are independently owned by local retailers who understand and respond to the everyday needs of their communities.

brand is developing “hero categories” to drive consumer footfall.

Daybreak retailers can avail of enhanced sales and margin through the Musgrave Group buying power, strong promotional offers and a competitive development cost and marketing fee.

New In-Store Concepts To support this, Daybreak has launched new in-store concepts, including fresh in-store bakery, hot & cold deli, Perfect Blend coffee and a new range of wines. The new in-store bakery range has been carefully selected and includes popular favourites such as French Breads and Danish pastries, alongside a range of artisan and traditional loafs and scones. The hot and cold deli in-store offering has been rejuvenated to include

Daybreak stores are independently owned by local retailers who understand and respond to the everyday needs of their communities.


Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie|35

Retail Group Review

Top Year for Topaz

Topaz has had an exciting year and has ambitious plans for an even better 2014. amazing and not surprisingly, we’ve already signed up over 200,000 customers.”

In February Topaz launched its new interactive loyalty game Play or Park, offering prizes like luxury holidays in Rio, Thailand, Monaco and the Maldives, a new car with free fuel for a year, and an all expenses paid shopping trip to New York. Pictured at the launch are Paul Candon Marketing and Corporate Services Director at Topaz; John Williamson, CEO of Topaz; and Brazilian Samba dancer, Tatiane Aragao.

TOPAZ, Ireland’s largest fuel and convenience retailer, believes consumer confidence is growing once again and as a result the outlook for 2014 is much more positive. In the past year, the company launched a new loyalty game, opened a new flagship site at Dublin Airport, unveiled plans for several new motorway sites and was recognised as one of the best 25 companies to work for in Europe, the only Irish company nominated. It also added 17 sites to its network. Paul Candon, Marketing and Corporate Services Director, says that with 331 sites all over Ireland, the question of standing still in today’s fast moving retail environment simply does not arise. “Enhancing the customer experience is at the heart of everything we

do and that is what drives us forward,” Candon notes. “For example, we wanted a unique and fun way to reward our customers for their loyalty and in February we launched our new loyalty game, Play or Park.” To enter the game, customers collect points, which enable them to ‘Play’ for an experience of a lifetime prize every month – or they can choose to ‘Park’ them and carry them forward to participate in a following month’s game. The key difference with other loyalty schemes is that everyone who plays each month is eligible for a complimentary Topaz treat eg: coffee and muffin, car wash etc. “We have really enjoyed giving away fantastic prizes every month,” Candon says. “The response has been

Flagship Dublin Airport Site Just before Christmas, Topaz unveiled its new flagship site at Dublin Airport. The €3m re-development has transformed it into one of the most modern and best equipped 24/7 service stations in the country. Paul Candon reveals that the company wanted to give customers, especially visitors to Ireland, a five star service. “Close to 20m people travel through Dublin airport every year – that’s over 50,000 a day,” he notes. “Whether customers are having the first retail experience of their visit to Ireland or leaving our shores, we want to ensure it’s a hugely positive experience.” €8m Expansion Plans In October, Topaz an-

nounced details of an €8m investment in two new motorway sites on the Dublin/ Cork and Dublin/Waterford motorways. One of the stations will be located at Junction 3 on the Dublin/ Cork motorway (M8) near Ballacolla in County Laois, while the other will be situated at Junction 5 on the Dublin/Waterford motorway (M9). Work on the Laois site will start in January and it’s hoped work on the Carlow site will start in summer 2014. “After some very challenging years, we believe the recovery is gaining pace,” Candon concludes. “We are in expansion mode and are constantly looking at sites with good potential near motorways. Indeed, if any dealers would like to join Topaz or hear more about the benefits of being part of our nationwide network, we would love to hear from them.”

DAA’s Head of Commercial Revenue, Hugh Madden; Paul Candon, Marketing and Corporate Services Director at Topaz; and station manager Mari Nolan are pictured studying the plans for the €3m redevelopment of the Topaz service station at Dublin Airport. The state-of-the-art site opened just before Christmas.


36|Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie

Retail Group Review

Aldi Excels in Ireland

Aldi continued to be the Irish grocery market’s standout performer in 2013, while opening its 100th store and a second major distribution centre. 2013 was a milestone year for Aldi’s Irish operations, which saw the retailer open its 100th Irish store, open a second major Regional Distribution Centre, announce plans for further growth, store development and job creation and maintain its position as the fastest growing supermarket in the country. In April, Aldi celebrated the opening of its 100th Irish store in Callan, Co. Kilkenny, while at the same time announcing plans to develop and open 20 new stores. Spanning across a number of towns and cities throughout the country, the new stores are part of a three-year expansion drive that will see 300 new jobs created.

With over 70 loading bays, it has the capacity to service in excess of 100 Aldi stores. The facility will support Aldi’s continued expansion throughout Ireland, primarily servicing Aldi’s stores in Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Clare, Mayo, Galway, Kilkenny and Wexford. Standout Performer Aldi continued to be the standout performer in the Irish grocery market, maintaining its position as the fastest growing supermarket in the country, a position it has now held since July 2008. Figures from Kantar Worldpanel for the 12 weeks ending November 10, 2013, found Aldi to have grown its

With over 70 loading bays, Aldi’s new Regional Distribution Centre has the capacity to service in excess of 100 Aldi stores.

Aldi opened the doors of its new Regional Distribution Centre in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, in early September. Generating 160 new jobs, the new state-of-the-art 59,535 square metre facility is Aldi’s second major distribution hub in Ireland.

share (of sales) by 19.4%, increasing its share of the Irish grocery market to 7.4%. Aldi’s focus on providing Irish consumers with a high quality, award-winning range of Irish sourced ownbrand groceries at consistently low prices has been

Aldi opened the doors of its new Regional Distribution Centre in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, in early September.

key to its continued success. Aldi launched the ‘Swap and Save Challenge’ in February, aiming to help consumers save thousands of euro on their annual grocery shopping bill. The campaign demonstrates that by swapping your regular weekly grocery shop to Aldi, consumers can maximise their disposable income and save in the region of €3,000 a year, without having to compromise on quality. Multiple Award Wins Aldi’s Irish suppliers and Irish sourced products once again performed exceptionally well at the leading national and international food awards programmes and schemes. Aldi’s Irish suppliers won 21 awards the 2013 Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards, while 10 Aldi products scooped awards at the inaugural Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards. At the prestigious international Great Taste Awards, Aldi products received a total of 59 awards. This included a

three gold stars award, the highest accolade possible, for its Kilcree Gold Organic Honey. Aldi now has the most decorated grocery range in Ireland, with well over 120 quality award winning own-brand products found on the shelves of its Irish stores across the country. Highlighting its strong Irish sourcing credentials and long-standing partnerships with Irish farmers, Aldi launched a successful new advertising campaign in 2013, ‘100% Irish Fresh Meat’, which centres on the Aldi fresh meat supply chain, essentially bringing the product from the farm to the kitchen table. Partnering with over 30 of its long-term Irish suppliers, Aldi also showcased its Irish fare at the National Ploughing Championships. Aldi plans to build further on its success in 2014, adding new stores to its existing network, creating additional jobs and bringing great value to more Irish consumers.


Retail News|December 2013|www.retailnews.ie|37

Retail Group Review

Lidl Lights Up Market

Lidl continues grow its share of the Irish market, attracting new customers to the brand. “OUR aim is to be able to offer Irish consumers top quality products at the lowest possible prices,” explains Aoife Clarke, Head of Communications, Lidl Ireland. Lidl continues to go from strength to strength and 2013 has been a good year for the group, who opened five new stores over the course of the year, with a number of potential stores at the planning stage at present. “We also have a modernisation programme in place to upgrade older stores, which is a large investment for the company,” notes Clarke. “Our Purchasing team have worked tirelessly to develop and expand our locally sourced own brand ranges.” 2013 has seen a host of

developments at Lidl Ireland, including store openings, the continuing success of their own brand products in prestigious food awards and the expansion of their Xmas Deluxe range to over 200 products - an increase of 250% in just three years. For 2014, the plan is simple, according to Clarke: “We will continue to try and attract new customers in order to grow the company.” Lidl was founded as a wholesaler in Germany in the 1930s. The company bought the rights to the Lidl name from a retired teacher, Ludwig Lidl. The first Lidl store was opened near Ludwigshafen, Germany in 1973. The 1980s saw the Lidl discount concept grow nation-

ally in Germany and then internationally in the 1990s. Today, Lidl is a privately

owned recognised leader in European retail with more than 10,000 stores in 26 countries. More than 120 Regional Distribution Centres operate these stores. In Ireland, Lidl has four Regional Distribution Centres and just over 4,000 employees.

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