Spar and Eurospar plans to open 60 new outlets over the next three years and will invest €65m across its retail network in Ireland.
The new stores will add an estimated 1,100 jobs to the chain and bring the number of outlets to 525. The investment will be made by BWG Foods, which controls the franchise in Ireland, and independent retailers attached to the chain.
BWG has announced the expansion after retail sales at the chain in Ireland topped €1.6bn last year. That compares to just over €1.5bn in 2021, when Spar had 456 stores here.
The group is expecting that its sales in Ireland will hit €1.67bn this year, taking into account a forecast interest in consumer spending and a contribution from new stores in the period.
BWG is controlled by Spar South Africa. In 2014, it agreed to buy an 80pc stake of Spar Ireland from BWG Foods for €55m. That helped BWG to cut its borrowings.
BWG said that trading across city centre and business park stores continued to recover last year.
It said it has already identified a number of potential greenfield and brownfield sites and will be focusing on the emergence of new communities in the vicinity of Ireland’s major cities as new housing developments are constructed.
The new store and future growth ambitions were announced at the Spar and Eurospar Retailer Convention in Killarney, Co Kerry, which was attended by more than 300 retailers from across the country.
Leo Crawford, the chief executive of BWG Foods, said that the Spar and Eurospar symbols had continued to perform very well.
“Changing consumer behaviours are transforming the retail landscape and we will be ensuring that our Spar and Eurospar stores respond with innovative solutions to meet the needs of the more than one million customers who visit our stores every day,” Mr Crawford added.
There are plans to upgrade more than 100 existing Spar and Eurospar sites across the country, which will include a new store design for the Eurospar supermarket format.
BWG said that design will pioneer a number of new carbon reduction features including additional refrigeration technologies, solar panel installations and recycled fixings.