MUSGRAVES has just opened the largest cash and carry outlet in the south east. The new store at Waterford City represents a €2m spend by the Irish retail group and is part of an overall €5m investment for its MarketPlace chain of 13 outlets from this year to 2015.
In addition to the new store, the group will be spending another €3m on upgrades to existing cash and carry outlets throughout the country over the next three years.
The 56,000 square foot state- of-the-art store on Kilbarry Road employs 70 staff and will next month host the launch of an online-based ordering system.
The new store replaces a much smaller and outdated outlet formerly located at Keane's Road and represents further expansion by the multi-branded chain following its purchase of Superquinn last year for a knockdown price of €100m.
The group also owns the Centra, Supervalu and Mace chains in Ireland as well as shops in Britain and Spain. The acquisition of Superquinn's 6.4pc grocery market share took Musgraves ahead of Tesco in Irish grocery market share.
The Cork-based chain, which is Ireland's largest private company by turnover, has interests in more than 3,300 outlets in Ireland, the UK and Spain and turned in retail sales of €6.6bn last year -- up 2pc on 2010. Despite a debt of €185m brought for the most part by the Superquinn purchase, the group has managed to cut its costs by €49m since 2007.