Monday 16 October 2017

Dunnes plays catch-up with self-scan tills

Margaret Heffernan of Dunnes Stores
Margaret Heffernan of Dunnes Stores
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

DUNNES Stores has stepped up the deployment of self-service checkouts as it plays catch-up with rivals such as Tesco.

The retailer has traditionally been considered a laggard in implementing new technology but is now forging ahead with the modern checkouts.

The supermarket, headed by chief executive Margaret Heffernan and her brother Frank Dunne, only began selling goods online this year. That online presence is restricted to non-grocery items.

It has been about a decade since self-service terminals first made an appearance in rival supermarkets.

It's not clear how many stores the retailer has now placed the self-service checkouts in, with one industry source indicating that some of its busiest outlets still don't have the facility. Rivals including SuperValu, the chain controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave retail group, and Tesco have had self-service checkouts for some time. So, too, has Superquinn, which is also now owned by the Musgrave group.

Dunnes has the second-biggest market share of Ireland's multi-billion-euro grocery market, with a 23.6pc share, according to research group Kantar Worldpanel.

Tesco has a 26.5pc share, but its sales in Ireland have been hit hard this year. While Kantar reckons that Aldi and Lidl have a combined 13.7pc share of the grocery market, retail insiders insist the figure is probably closer to 20pc.

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