Saturday 20 December 2014

Signing off: It's the end of an era as Superquinn rebranded

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

Published 11/02/2014 | 02:30

Superquinn butcher Darren Williams at the Walkinstown, Dublin, store.

SUPERQUINN will cease to exist from Thursday morning when all 24 of its stores nationwide will be rebranded as SuperValu.

The Superquinn network of stores has seen sales decline by 6pc in the last year as shoppers flock to discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl – but parent company Musgrave insists that its buying clout and investment in store upgrades can reverse that trend.

SuperValu has already grown to 20.1pc of the market and its takeover of the Superquinn network will see its share of the Irish grocery market jump to 25.3pc overnight.

That will give it 223 outlets nationwide, employing 14,500 people with a turnover of €2.6bn, and make it second only to Tesco in market share.

Musgrave points to the success of its Walkinstown Superquinn branch since a €2.1m upgrade last year as a sign of what can be achieved by joining forces to provide lower prices while retaining traditional Superquinn customer favourites such as instore bakeries and expertly staffed fish, meat and cheese counters.

That store saw sales increase by 7pc in the second half of 2013 after a major refurbishment.

Manager James Brennan said the makeover had transformed the store's fortunes. "It was dark and dank and tatty before and people just didn't want to come in; now we've people coming from as far away as Naas to shop," he said.

A Musgrave spokesman said that €10m had been spent already on upgrading eight Superquinn stores, and another €10m would be spent to transform another eight, mostly by the end of this year.

The merger has been a springboard for expansion as Superquinn Sausages have now been rolled out to all SuperValu stores, resulting in sales doubling from 15 tonnes a week when Musgrave bought out Superquinn to 30 tonnes a week now.

Irish Independent

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