Thursday 23 May 2019

SuperValu made record sales of €2.67bn in 2016

Retailer came under fire from farmers earlier this month

Martin Kelleher, SuperValu managing director, was speaking in Killarney yesterday
Martin Kelleher, SuperValu managing director, was speaking in Killarney yesterday
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

SuperValu notched up sales of €2.67bn last year, a 2.4pc increase over the 2015 figure.

Controlled by the Cork-based Musgrave group, SuperValu is the country's second-largest grocery retailer after Dunnes Stores.

Online shopping at SuperValu jumped 22pc last year, with an increasing number of its shoppers using their smartphones for browsing. That usage on the website was up 180pc last year.

SuperValu managing director Martin Kelleher said the chain's performance last year was a record for the retailer, which operates on a franchise basis. SuperValu held its national conference in Killarney, Co Kerry yesterday.

Mr Kelleher said three new SuperValu stores will open this year as part of an overall €35m investment that will include revamps. The new stores will employ 190 full and part-time staff.

Last December, SuperValu closed its outlet in Drogheda, Co Louth, due to difficult trading conditions over a sustained trading period.

The store was unable to compete against rivals including Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Dunnes Stores and Marks & Spencer.

SuperValu has 219 outlets around the country, employing 14,500 full and part-time staff. That compared to 223 outlets at the end of 2015.

Its weekly footfall in 2015 was 2.5 million, compared with more than 2.6 million last year, according to SuperValu.

Figures from research group Kantar Worldpanel showed that SuperValu had a 22.5pc share of Ireland's grocery market in terms of the value of sales during the 12 weeks to January 29. Dunnes had a 22.7pc share and Tesco had 22.4pc.

Kantar Worldpanel predicted that the intense competition between grocery retailers here would result in a good year for consumers, who'll benefit from the battle.

Mr Kelleher said yesterday that SuperValu was the "number one supporter" of the Irish agri-food sector, and sources goods from 2,200 Irish suppliers, equating, he said, to an annual economic contribution of just under €2.2bn.

SuperValu recently drew fire after it ran a promotion that offered free carrots and potatoes when customers bought roast beef, which was also discounted by 50pc. It also ran a similar offer on onions and mushrooms.

The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) made representations to SuperValu, which then ceased the promotions.

"We will be meeting with the retailer again in the near future to express farmers' anger at this type of promotion," said IFA president Joe Healy at the time.

SuperValu said the promotional offer, designed as part of its "ongoing effort to encourage consumers to cook with Irish produce", had been planned and agreed in consultation with its suppliers. It said the entire cost of this promotion was funded by SuperValu.

Irish Independent

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