Centra to create 400 jobs as sales reach €1.4bn
Centra is planning to create 400 new jobs this year after sales in Ireland hit a record €1.43bn last year.
Musgraves, which owns the Centra franchise, said the sales figure was 1.6pc higher than in 2011 on a like-for-like basis. The chain opened 18 new outlets last year but eight stores also closed, according to a spokesman.
Centra said it makes three million transactions a week and remains the country's biggest convenience store brand, ahead of main rival Spar.
Centra managing director Martin Kelleher said the chain will spend €20m in 2013, opening 20 new stores and creating up to 400 jobs.
He said that 100 of those jobs will be created at new stores on greenfield sites, while the remainder would be created as existing stores expand and other stores join the Centra stable. Centra already employs almost 10,000 people.
Mr Kelleher said that Centra had increased value to customers by 15pc, or the equivalent of €90m, last year by reducing prices and evolving its range of goods. He added that last year, Centra spent €40m directly with local suppliers and also donated €2.1m to community associations.
Centra purchased €1bn of Irish goods last year, including €130m worth of fresh food, it said.
It said that 75pc of all products it sells are either produced or sourced in Ireland.
"Centra's success, despite the challenging economic environment, can be attributed to our continued focus on delivering value and providing innovative convenience solutions for shoppers," Mr Kelleher told a conference in Killarney yesterday.
"In 2012, we increased value to our customers by 15pc, or almost €90m, through price reductions and continued to evolve our range to stay in tune with consumer trends.
"This is illustrated by an increase of almost €5m in our 'Food-to-Go' sales, while our new 'Table for Two' range of convenience dinners, delivered sales of over €1.2m."
Cork-based Musgrave also controls the SuperValu brand in Ireland and owns Superquinn.