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SuperValu, Ireland’s leading independent supermarket network, has announced that it will add approximately 400 jobs over the next year, as five new stores are added to its network over the next twelve months. Almost 200 of these jobs will be created in new stores in Celbridge and Milltown Malbay, with the balance of jobs created by store extensions and other independent stores joining the SuperValu network. There stores will be opened as part of a €20 million investment programme, which includes the refurbishment and revamps of 30 further stores.

Speaking today at the SuperValu national conference in Killarney, which was attended by over 500 retail partners from 195 stores nationwide, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu, said, “Despite a tough trading environment, 2011 was a good year for SuperValu with two billion in retail sales and achieving market share of almost 20%. We serve over two million customers per week and we believe it is our value proposition, our Irish sourcing policy and shoppers desire to shop locally in order to support their local communities and local jobs that are driving this success.”

“Our focus on value continues in 2012 with the recent launch of our SuperValu Range. With over 1,500 products now in its line-up, this move represents the biggest product launch in our history. With the range on average 33% cheaper than branded equivalents, it is set to help consumers spend less on their weekly grocery shopping without compromising on quality. Just one month into its launch we are seeing a significant sales increase and we expect this to continue, as consumers who want to spend less on their shopping buy more of this new range.”

“In 2011 our retail partners invested €15 million in new stores, extensions and refurbishments across the network. The new stores were in Mountmellick, Manor Hamilton and Dun Laoghaire. With this year’s planned investment of €20 million by retailers, set to drive our workforce to well over 12,000.”

SuperValu’s 2011 performance included sales of almost half a billion euro of Irish fresh food. 100% of SuperValu’s meat including beef, lamb, pork, bacon and chicken is born, bred and reared in Ireland, representing €183 million in retail sales. Kantar Market Data reports that SuperValu retains the largest market share of the beef, lamb and pork market in Ireland.

A number of factors which contributed to SuperValu’s sales performance included significant price reductions, the rollout of it Real Rewards loyalty card scheme and the development of new products based on consumer research such as the new SuperValu ‘Prepared by our Butcher’ range, which delivered over €4 million in retail sales alone.

SuperValu has 195 stores and is the only retailer with a store in every county. SuperValu remains committed to local employment and sourcing from Irish producers. In 2011 the total purchases of Irish goods and services made by SuperValu, was worth over €1.5bn to the Irish economy, serving to both create and protect almost 30,000 Irish jobs in the farm, food and retail sector.

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