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If you’re Ireland’s number one local convenience brand, the pressure is on — how to take it up a level? And Centra is certainly not holding back: ask the over three million customers per week who pushed growth up by 1.6%. and took sales up to over €1.4 billion in 2012.

The key? In part, it’s about being quick to respond to consumer trends: a new line of convenience dinners and the perfectly timed Food-to-Go lines are the outward signs of that. Behind that, however, is a host of other factors. For instance, if you’re on a limited budget you may occasionally prefer to leave the car at home and stick to essentials — if, that is, a local stores can offer them at a reasonable price. And if that outlet supports Irish food and suppliers at the same time, it can boost consumer loyalty.

While local supply is a permanent feature of our retail partner’s businesses, many initiatives are based on flexibility and market awareness; we have to respond to consumer trends — and do so quickly and attractively.

It’s clearly paying off. So is it time to relax? No. It’s time to invest! A €20 million investment programme, with new stores and new jobs is on its way. Contrary to the sentiment of the humourous slogan, if you are number one you really do have to try harder.

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