Convenience brand Mace is planning to open 100 new stores
Company hopes to create 1,200 jobs as turnover rises by a fifth
CONVENIENCE brand Mace is to boost its presence with plans to open 100 new stores by 2016, creating an estimated 1,200 jobs.
The retailer said the expansion would see turnover at the group increase by a fifth.
The company last year opened 28 new stores countrywide, bringing its total network to 240 shops. Turnover by 2016 under the plan is expected to rise to €420m.
Willie O'Byrne, managing director of BWG, operator of the Mace brand along with the Maxol Group, said the company was outperforming the market and was the fastest-growing brand in Irish retailing.
He said the company was confident that it could meet the 100 new-store target and get enough independent retailers to link to the Mace brand.
"These are specific plans. It is our aim to drive 100 new stores into the brand by 2016, even to reference 28 new stores in 2012 gives you some comfort that that figure isn't picked out of the air," Mr O'Byrne said.
The Mace stores tend to be a mixture of forecourt and neighbourhood store, with an estimated 4,000 employees across the country.
Mr O'Byrne said that its partnership with Maxol, renewed last year, has seen the Mace group establish itself as one of Ireland largest forecourt symbol brands.
"The new strategy will also see additional investment in Mace Own-Brand, with the company predicting a 20pc increase in the range of own-brand products available in Mace stores this year."
Mr O'Byrne said the company had spent heavily on its advertisement of the Mace brand.
"It's a brand that was always strong on forecourt and I think the forecourt sector has been a little bit more resilient over the last few years overall," he said.
"Mace has partnered with Maxol on the forecourt as well. While Mace has 148 stores on forecourt, it has approximately 60 Maxol Mace company owned sites and that's a very strong bedrock for its progress on the forecourt sector."
Mace is the country's oldest convenience brand having opened its first store for business in 1960.