independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Final farewell: Emotional day as Superquinn signs come down

Feargal Quinn and members of his family outside the Superquinn store in Sutton, Dublin. Picture: HANNAH LEVY
Feargal Quinn and members of his family outside the Superquinn store in Sutton, Dublin. Picture: HANNAH LEVY

AS the signs come down forever on Superquinn, shoppers in Finglas - home to Dublin's oldest Superquinn store - were sentimental about what they say is "the end of an era".

The Finglas store was opened in 1965 and would have celebrated its 50th birthday next year.

Irish singing legends Dana and Dickie Rock are part of its history - having officated at various store openings and expansions through the years.

Most shoppers in Finglas told independent.ie today that they were happy to continue shopping at the site - especially since the famous Superquinn sausages are being continued.

Anne Kennedy from Finglas said she buys the Superquinn sausages every week, and their survival represents a silver lining.

While Ena Whelan told independent.ie today that even though she'll continue to shop at Supervalu, the removal of the Superquinn signs represent the "end of an era".

"Both of my sons had part-time jobs in Superquinn, and they got great training. One of my sons was sweeping the floor one day and Feargal Quinn came over and said 'that's not how you sweep the floor', and he showed him how to. And my son loved it."

"It was great training for him."

And Tommy O'Halloran said he does the family shopping and he  loves the Superquinn brand and good quality foods. But he said he'll continue to pass through the Finglas shop's doors now that it's changed over to Supervalu.

"There are great deals around at the moment. And I find the prices good at Supervalu," he said.

Senator Feargal Quinn has said it is an emotional day for him that's a bit like seeing a daughter get married.

The supermarket chain he founded over 50 years ago is finally being renamed as SuperValu, but Mr Quinn said he was happy it would be part of an Irish company that had been in business over 100 years.

"It's a bit like seeing your daughter getting married, you're sorry to lose her, but if she's marrying the right man then you know it'll be okay," he said.

While he would have preferred to see the brand name retained, he was delighted that most of the 2,500 staff of the 24 supermarkets were retaining their jobs, with the exception of the back office staff in Lucan.

It's nearly nine years since he sold Superquinn, which was taken over by SuperValu parent group Musgrave, but he retained great affection for the stores which he started with a single grocery store in Dundalk in 1960, adopting the Superquinn name in 1970. Mr Quinn said he recently gathered 28 members of his family together to take a photo in front of the Sutton Superquinn sign just before it disappeared.

SuperValu said that one in four Irish consumers would now shop in its newly expanded network of 223 stores this year, which will have some 14,500 employees.

Its managing director Martin Kelleher said it was keeping much that was great from Superquinn's heritage – such as the Superquinn sausage.

Irish Independent

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