Why SuperValu isn’t standing still

Just to prove that we don’t rest on our laurels, we recently moved from announcing the very high standard of SuperValu stores to outlining an expansion of the SuperValu network.

It’s right, of course, that we should praise and recognise the sterling work done by the SuperValu network. And that’s exactly what we did at the recent SuperValu National Conference, which also played host to the awarding of the SuperValu of the Year title for 2012. That was won, incidentally by Ryan’s SuperValu, Glanmire Co. Cork. However, it wasn’t easy to choose a winner from the many SuperValu stores that combine a well-run business with appealing pricing, a fine fresh offer, great customer service and a strong involvement in their local community.

But the fact that these stores go the extra mile in so many important ways doesn’t mean we can’t help them to go further. That’s why not only will we build on the appeal and trust of the SuperValu name by adding five new stores to the network over the course of the year but continue the refurbishment and revamps that are taking place in so many stores around the country. It is true that we have a winning story behind the SuperValu network — one that emphasises Irish jobs and producers — but that would never justify standing still. In 2011 the total purchases of Irish goods and services made by SuperValu, was worth over €1.5bn to the Irish economy. We think we can offer even more.

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SuperValu to create 200 new jobs and invest €20 million in expanding its network in 2012

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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Best management — thanks to the best team

It’s not due to modesty that Musgrave Group rarely takes centre stage in these blogs. The success of this business is based on partnership. It’s through our brands that shoppers in particular see the results of that partnership — so it’s only reasonable that our partners are usually the focus of these comments.

Nevertheless it’s nice to be reminded that we are indeed doing a good job — and not just by our partners or colleagues in our own boardrooms, warehouses and backroom operations.

In this case we’re talking about the corporate finance giant Deloitte and our own Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD. The minister was guest speaker and Deloitte the driving force behind the recent ceremony in Dublin highlighting the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Awards Programme.

At the ceremony we were named as one of Ireland’s Best Managed companies. The fact that this is the only awards programme across Ireland that considers a business’ performance from every perspective makes our award (the fourth in four years) especially gratifying. But like all award winners we are only too aware that teamwork won the award. In our case that team extends beyond the Group business to stores run by our partners everywhere in Ireland, Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Spain. They are the first point of call for the customers who make this company successful, and we will never forget that.

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Musgrave Group aims to deliver €1 billion in own brand sales by 2014

The Musgrave Group has announced the launch of a group wide Own Brand strategy across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Great Britain, which aims to deliver one billion euro in Own Brand sales by 2014.  The initiative follows the launch of SuperValu’s Own Brand range in the Republic of Ireland which saw 1,500 product lines introduced across the SuperValu store network. 

The SuperValu Own Brand range will also be available in over 2,000 stores across Budgens and Londis in Great Britain and in SuperValu stores in Northern Ireland.  As a result of the export opportunity from the Own Brand range expansion to Musgrave’s network in the UK, 161 jobs will potentially be created by 33 Irish food suppliers to fulfil the level of demand.

Commenting on the announcement, Chris Martin, Group Chief Executive Officer, Musgrave Group, said, “There has been a significant shift by consumers to Own Brand products in recent years in Ireland and the UK.  Our aim is to capitalise on this by offering products that are up to 20% cheaper than their branded equivalent.  We have set aggressive targets and aim to bring Own Brand sales from €700 million today to €1 billion across the business by the end of 2014.”

This also represents a fantastic export opportunity for our Irish suppliers as they will deliver a significant amount of our new range in Great Britain.  For example, Bandon Vale who supply us with SuperValu Cheddar and the Brady Family who provide us with our Own Brand repacked cooked meats will benefit from €2.5 million and €1 million in new business respectively.”

The launch will mark the first time that the SuperValu brand is available in Great Britain.  The brand will be positioned around the statement – SuperValu:  Super Value, Super Quality.”

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