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The achievements of one of Musgrave’s best-known innovators has just been recognised by one of Ireland’s foremost educational establishments. As many of you will know, our former Managing Director, Chief Executive and Chairman, Hugh Mackeown, was among a select group of recipients of the 2012/13 Trinity College Dublin Alumni Awards.

An Alumni Award is recognition by Trinity of the important contributions its alumni have made in their particular field. In Hugh’s case it recognises a success story that takes us from the fairly sleepy Irish retail environment of the early 1970s to the highly competitive, technologically advanced and fast-moving retail sector of today.

Hugh was instrumental in creating that sector — and the Musgrave model, which, we like to believe, is the most innovative in the market. He played a major part in developing Musgrave beyond its cash and carry origins to today’s international business employing a sophisticated retail partnership model.

There are numerous impressive figures we could cite from Hugh’s time in the business — increased turnover from €7 million to €4.9 billion per year, the creation of over 60,000 jobs, market share of about 4% in 1980 and 25% today. But in some ways it’s the least obviously striking figure that is the most important. These achievements happened over a fifty-year period. While it is important to respond quickly and nimbly to change — as we have done to PCs, smartphones and CRM innovation — it’s equally clear that much of our success is down to careful planning and development over a long period. And, thanks to Hugh and the many people who built today’s Musgrave Group, we are in a good position to continue for an even longer one.

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