Friday 24 November 2017

Superquinn executive likely to take Dunnes post

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

SUPERQUINN'S second-in-command, James Wilson, is rumoured to be plotting a defection to rival Dunnes Stores in a move that would mark the second major senior management loss at Superquinn in recent months.

It is expected that Mr Wilson, who is trading director, will join Dunnes in the coming months.

Superquinn executive chairman Simon Burke declined to comment recently to the Irish Independent on speculation regarding Mr Wilson's position.

However, retail trade magazine 'Checkout' yesterday said that Mr Wilson is believed to be on extended leave from Superquinn and that he will replace Dunnes Stores veteran Dick Reeves in his current role as director of food later this year.

Superquinn, which was acquired by private investors including developers Jerry O'Reilly and Bernard McNamara in 2005 from founder Feargal Quinn and family for €450m, recently lost its operational and development director Sheena Forde, who also quit the retailer for Dunnes. She is now its head of buying.

Ms Forde previously worked with Wal-Mart-owned Asda for 12 years. Mr Wilson also worked with Asda, as well as Musgrave, the owner of the SuperValu franchise.

Superquinn has been attempting to shore up its market and financial position amid the downturn and tough competition.

Dunnes currently lags behind competitors, including Tesco, in its operational infrastructure, lacking a centralised distribution network and unable to offer online shopping. Insiders questioned whether the Irish retailer can adequately address those shortcomings.

Late last year, the most senior non-family director at Dunnes, Andrew Street, left. He had been chief operating officer.

Irish Independent

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