Rusdene Services signs deal with Londis

Ollie Lodge of Rusdene Services, who owns a Budgens store in West Meon, has just signed a deal with Londis to supply two of his non branded forecourts in Hampshire with plans to supply a third store in Wiltshire later in the year. The stores will be rebranded as Londis and will undergo redevelopments.

Says Ollie Lodge: “We already have a strong relationship with Budgens at West Meon, so it was a natural fit to partner with Londis to drive our forecourt business at these sites.  These CTN based stores on forecourt sites have smaller formats that wouldn’t fit the Budgens model, but Londis is the perfect fit. With Londis we can develop our fresh and alcohol offers and make the most of the simple, flexible relationship and expertise from the Londis team.

Ollie and his father Derek, who still plays a very active role in the business, are well known in the forecourt industry, having run Rusdene Services for over 20 years, and also well respected figures in the local business world.

The first two stores, at Waterlooville and Botley, relaunched as Londis in June.

Both rebranded stores are 800 sq ft and previously operated under the Smile fascia. Both have undergone small makeovers and range reviews with new fixtures, fittings and Londis branding added throughout. The key focus is on fresh and alcohol.

Space allocated to fresh has doubled at both sites – to 2.5m at Waterlooville and 5m at Botley. A core range of chilled has been introduced, including ready meals and the fresh produce range has been dramatically enhanced.

The busy forecourt at Waterlooville is surrounded by light commercial and industrial businesses, so the range has been tailored to maximise the customer spend, including a focus on chilled snacking for lunchtime and ready meals for the end of day, whilst building on the core CTN strengths of the site.

Conversely, Botley is a village, where the core focus at the forecourt store is on dairy plus fresh produce, rationalising the existing products to create space for enhanced ranges.  Competition comes from two Co ops nearby.

Likewise with alcohol, the focus is on improving the range. The range at both sites has grown by 30 per cent with a big emphasis on chilling white/rose wines and beers where previously there was a limited amount of chilled.

The promotional impact in store has also been raised. There are now floor stacks and gondola ends to create theatre in the off licence sections to drive footfall and sales.

A big range of own brand wines was introduced at Botley, based on the success of own brand wines at the Budgens store in West Meon.

The core range of grocery has been significantly enhanced at both sites, stripping out slow sellers and focusing on a composite core range of grocery to offer customers ‘all you need for everyday living’.

Says Paul Courtney, Londis Sales Director: “I’m very pleased to be working with this well known, long established business to help them grow their forecourt stores with Londis.

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Musgrave and Airtricity announce all-Ireland green electricity deal worth €25 million

Airtricity to supply green electricity to Musgrave Group’s network of depots across Ireland in the largest green electricity deal of its kind

Musgrave Group today announced that it has signed an agreement with Airtricity to supply green electricity to its network of depots and sites across the island of Ireland. Under the terms of the contract, Airtricity will supply green electricity to all Musgrave Group owned facilities on the island of Ireland, both North and South and via an affinity scheme to its SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak stores in the Republic of Ireland and SuperValu, Centra and Mace stores in Northern Ireland. The overall deal is worth in the region of €25 million and the agreement is the largest all-island green electricity deal of its kind.

Musgrave Group has made significant progress in improving the energy efficiency of its business and continues to focus on reducing its carbon emissions and associated costs. The contract with Airtricity further underscores Musgrave Group’s commitment to supporting the development of Ireland’s renewable energy infrastructure and will provide the business with an opportunity to further reduce its carbon footprint and its operating costs. The new ‘green’ electricity contract with Airtricity extends Musgrave’s current use of electricity generated from renewables into Northern Ireland. The Airtricity deal will allow Musgrave displace more than 130,000 tonnes of CO2, which is the equivalent of taking more than 60,000 family cars off Irish roads annually.

Commenting on the announcement, John Curran, Environmental Executive Musgrave Group, said, “Mitigating climate change impacts and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels are crucial sustainability issues. As well as lowering emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, this agreement with Airtricity will also result in reduced energy costs for Musgrave and our retail partners and underscores the value of continuing to focus on driving our sustainability strategy even in times of recession.”

Identified in 2009 as one of the world’s top fifteen eco-friendly retailers in a report published by Ryerson University’s Center for the Study of Commercial Activity (CSCA) under the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) ‘Greening Retail’ initiative, Musgrave Group is committed to promoting sustainable development by managing its performance in areas such as waste management and energy efficiency. Along with the green electricity contract and the separate green affinity scheme, Airtricity has also agreed to provide a discounted deal for home electricity and gas to Musgrave Group staff.

Commenting on the deal, Dermot McGovern, Sales Manager, Airtricity said, “Energy management is a crucial sustainability issue for business. With Irish businesses increasingly aware of their responsibility to the environment, a growing number of organisations are implementing environmental or green programmes focused on operational areas where financial and carbon emissions savings can be achieved. As one of the market leaders in sustainable environmental practices in the retail sector, our agreement to supply green electricity to Musgrave owned-sites across the island of Ireland illustrates the Group’s commitment to the environment and its sustainability strategy despite the economic downturn.”

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Budgens outperforms the produce market according to the latest industry figures

The latest TNS Industry data, released this month, shows that Budgens strategy of driving sales has had a major impact in the overall market and in many cases has out-performed the market place.

Sales figures for the last 12 weeks have revealed that total produce sales figures have increased slightly, by 0.5 per cent, year on year, reflecting the relatively static nature of the market as a whole. However, Budgens has recorded the best growth of any retailer with an increase of 12.7 per cent. This growth has been mainly driven by impressive fruit sales, which are up by 20.9 per cent year on year.

Budgens has been running leading deals in the High Street with spectacular fruit promotions over the summer including; Budgens English strawberries, 454g on sale at half price, £1.99, plus when customers purchased a punnet they also received a pot of Budgens Double Cream, 150g, absolutely free; plus 250g punnets of Budgens cherries and 500g punnets of Budgens seedless grapes were on offer for just £1.

Says Phil Smith, Budgens Managing Director: “We have seen dramatic growth in our market share this summer driven by market leading deals. We have used our scale to our advantage moving swiftly to seize supply opportunities and offer unique deals on the best quality seasonal products. We know that customers are looking for value and these figures support Budgens commitment to supporting its retail partners, enabling them to deliver excellent value to shoppers.

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SuperValu Getaway Breaks contributes over €30 million to the Irish Tourism Industry in 2009 alone!

Great value SuperValu Getaway Breaks and ‘Kids Go Free’ vouchers – helping Irish consumers enjoy the best of summer

In 2009, the SuperValu Getaway Breaks scheme contributed over €30 million in direct revenue to the Irish Tourism industry. Over the past number of years, more and more Irish people have chosen to holiday at home and make the most of our beautiful scenery, attractions and great value holiday offers. ‘Staycations’ have become a popular choice and this year is no exception with Failte Ireland recently announcing that as many as 80 per cent of families are expected to holiday at home in 2010.

Since the beginning of this year it can’t be any easier to collect points towards a SuperValu Getaway Break. All you need to avail of these great Getaway Breaks, is 400 points, which are registered automatically on your SuperValu Real Rewards card as you shop. You get 1 point for every €1 you spend and you can check your balance any time on the end of your till receipt. The really great news is that no matter what other offer is running, you also get your SuperValu Getaway Break points.

Since the launch of the Getaway Breaks scheme in 1999, 2 million SuperValu shoppers have enjoyed a Getaway Break in Ireland and last year was particularly strong, with over 160,0000 bookings and approximately 320,000 SuperValu customers and their family and friends availing of the offer. Getaway Breaks are available from as little as €39 per person sharing (GAA B&B hotel break) and cover a broad range of holiday’s including 4-star hotel breaks, holiday home breaks, bed & breakfast hotel deals and family breaks. To celebrate the best of summer, SuperValu’s latest Getaway Break is an unbeatable value deal for the whole family – a 4 night B&B hotel break for 2 adults and 2 children for just €299.

In addition to the Getaway Breaks offers – and as part of the SuperValu Real Rewards scheme – this summer SuperValu customers can also avail of ‘Kids go Free’ vouchers. Unique to SuperValu, these vouchers entitle you to free child admission, with each paying adult, to a broad range of family holiday attractions such as Bunratty Castle, Glenveagh National Park, Dublinia and the Viking World, Dublin Zoo and Dingle Aquarium.

Donal Horgan, Managing Director of SuperValu said; “We are constantly looking for new ways to give something back to our customers. This year as well as great value Getaway Breaks we have teamed up with a number of top family attractions to offer our customers free child admission during the summer months. We strive to make every aspect of our customer’s lives that little bit easier and we’re encouraging Irish families to make the most of the summer and avail of the good value that’s out there.

To avail of the SuperValu Getaway Breaks offers all customers have to do is to collect 400 points on their SuperValu Real Rewards card (€1 = 1point).

To check out all of the participating attractions in the SuperValu Kids Go Free scheme and for further information on SuperValu Real Rewards and Getaway Breaks visit

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Brand new forecourt in Clitheroe marks milestone tenth site for Londis and the Kay Group

A brand new 3,000 sq ft Londis forecourt that opened in Clitheroe, Lancashire last week forms the biggest site in the Kay Group Network to date and the tenth store that the group has opened under the Londis fascia. This latest flagship store is the culmination of a partnership between Londis and the Kay Group which spans more than ten years and earlier this year the Kay Group celebrated winning the ‘Londis Multiple Account: Forecourt Store of the Year’ title for their Halifax site.  

The new store is built upon a site acquired by the Kay Group in January and, once the old petrol station and car showroom was demolished, the new Londis forecourt was specifically designed and built incorporating the highest specifications and standards with teams from Londis and the Kay Group working in close partnership on the project. The store, which is open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, provides a full convenience offering with an impressive range of fresh fruit and vegetables, plus a variety of locally sourced meat from a nearby farm and dairy produce within 23m of refrigeration. A 24 hour off-licence, fresh bakery items and coffee, lottery services an ATM and washroom facilities are all available for customers, plus a Subway franchise including a serving area with seating for twenty people, eight fuel positions, four jet washes, two vacuums and twenty two parking spaces.

As well as offering its customers all they need for everyday living, this new Londis forecourt has also been designed with the environment and cost saving efficiencies in mind. A thirty thousand litre rain water harvesting tank has been built underneath the site and this water is utilised within the jet wash and toilet facilities. The automatic sensor lighting and refrigeration systems have also been designed to allow for maximum capabilities and a predicted 30 per cent reduction in normal running costs.

Situated on the main road in and out of Clitheroe town centre, the Managers, Assistant Managers and brand new team of twelve local staff, have been kept very busy since the forecourt opened for business on 9 July and Richard Cox, Managing Director, of the Kay Group, reported that “the opening weekend surpassed all expectations in sales.” He predicts that sales will soon reach their weekly targets of £30,000 in store and a run rate of six million litres of fuel per year.

Richard Cox went on say “We are proud and delighted with this new edition to our network of sites. The support and guidance from the Londis development team and Andy Tillison, our account manager, has been absolutely fantastic. As a result we have achieved everything we set out to and have our most prevalent forecourt site to date.

Said Londis Sales Director, Paul Courtney “The new forecourt site in Clitheroe is simply excellent. In what was a true working partnership, the Kay Group was fully receptive to our advice and guidance and their attention to detail was second to none. This is a first class forecourt store and has raised the bar yet again for the already high standards within Londis forecourt stores.

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Londis recruits 90 retailers in the first half of 2010

Londis continues to develop and strengthen its brand, recruiting 90 retailers to new stores in 2010 so far. Just under 10 per cent represent retailers who switched from other symbol groups to join Londis and others include multiple account retailers, plus a broad range of store sizes and locations, including neighbourhood, convenience and forecourt formats.

These figures confirm Londis’ position as a leading symbol group of choice for retailers who are looking for a fresh approach to running their businesses.

With over 1,000 fresh products including; fresh poultry, meats and bagged salads, plus over 500 own brand lines including a ‘Good Value’ range, Londis offers customers ‘all they need for everyday living’ and this is also attracting retailers to the brand.

Other key attractions for retailers is the dedicated support from Londis Retail Sales Managers, a loyalty scheme offering up to 4.5 per cent on purchases per quarter, no joining fees, the best shelf life products at highly competitive costs, plus access to over 400 promotions every three weeks – all offered with 98 per cent+ availability and delivered to a timed schedule.

Paul Courtney, Londis Sales Director said “I’m delighted to welcome 90 new stores to Londis. These numbers illustrate the significant strides we are making and validates Londis as the partner of choice for independent retailers.

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