Centra to add stores after record year
Convenience retailer Centra has announced a major expansion, after reporting record sales for 2018.
Last year revenue at the group hit €1.63bn, a 3.6pc increase on the previous year.
The group plans to open 25 new stores across Ireland in 2019 as part of a €35m investment.
Centra, which is part of the Cork-based Musgrave group that includes SuperValu, will upgrade a further 80 stores. In total 375 jobs will be created across Centra's network this year.
Centra managing director Martin Kelleher said: "Our record sales performance is testament to the dedication of over 463 Centra store owners across the country who provide market leading stores in convenient locations and our ongoing investment in shaping the future of the convenience market."
The launch of its 'Inspired By' Centra range last July, which includes products like paleo superbowls, reflected the evolving taste of the Irish consumer, who it said is more health-conscious and looking for premium food products.
Since its launch last July, the range has recorded €6.3m in sales, and continues to grow.
"In the past, convenience stores would have been synonymous with the breakfast roll but walking into a Centra today illustrates how the concept has been revolutionised with products like cold-press tumeric shots and paleo salads," Mr Kelleher said.
"We aim to stay one step ahead of the competition in this respect by ensuring we stay close to the modern Irish consumer who is looking for health alternatives, innovative ranges and great quality food for those short on time," he added.
The group also highlighted the performance of its Frank and Honest coffee, which it says has been a success. The brand recorded 40pc growth in coffee volume last year.
Centra - an official sponsor of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Championship - employs almost 11,000 people across 463 stores. It serves more than three million customers a week.
In December the Musgrave Group, which owns Centra, said it was preparing for Brexit by switching from some suppliers in the UK to ones in Europe.
The company bought premium food retailer Donnybrook Fair in a €25m deal last year.