GROCERY giant SuperValu is planning an additional 400 new jobs this year as it presses ahead with plans to open new stores.
The company is planning to open new stores at Mountmellick, Co Laois, and Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim, and is refurbishing a number of existing premises.
A €25m investment will be used to extend and refurbish 34 existing stores as sales reached €2.1bn in 2010, and market share had grown from 19.9pc at the end of last year to 20.2pc.
Managing director Martin Kelleher said that although the trading environment in 2011 continues to be extremely difficult, the company is confident it can continue to adapt its offer in response to the "budget-conscious consumer".
"We are ideally placed to achieve this as our retail partners own their stores; enabling them to tailor their offer to the communities they serve," he said. "We will also be looking to expand via our new stores opening, extension and refurbishment to existing stores and by exploring opportunities with the right retailers who are keen to switch to our brand."
SuperValu currently has 192 stores throughout Ireland and employs about 15,000 people.