The start of something big

Holt in Norfolk is an important example of how well-coordinated community involvement, however modest the needs of the cause, can have an effect well beyond the immediate sum or gesture involved.

In fact the significance of the effort in this case was even greater because it involved Budgens of Holt hitting its first fundraising target following the launch of the Budgens Love Local trial at the store in January. The scheme guarantees that a percentage of spend with a Love Local loyalty card will go to a given local community project.

The focus of the fund-raising effort we’re looking at in this case was the purchase of two new six-man tents for the local scout group. The sum involved was a relatively modest £260. The point, however, is that it was raised with the help of 1700 customers who signed up to the Love Local loyalty scheme at the Holt store. That was the first extended effect. The second was that those loyalty cards saw use on 12,000 sales transactions. The third was tying in the Love Local scheme with the Championing Local Community brand priority for Budgens and thereby raising awareness of local shopping as well as local issues.

 We’ve said a lot in these blogs about countrywide initiatives like TidyTowns and triathlons that raise money and awareness on a regional or countrywide level. However, a very local undertaking by an individual store can be the start of something big in its own right — for local involvement and goodwill, for loyalty and, of course, for numerous beneficiaries in the area.

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Gathering to keep Ireland tidy

In case you missed it, this year is the year of the Gathering, a spectacular, year-long celebration of all things Irish (and you can find out just how spectacular right here).

Of course, we hardly need any further incentive to ensure that Ireland looks good for our overseas visitors, but 2013 does look special. It has the potential to be not only a busy year but a high-profile one as images of the Gathering are beamed across the country and around the world.

Certainly Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, along with Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu were keen to emphasise the key role that the annual TidyTowns competition will have in presenting Ireland’s best face to the world when they jointly launched this year’s competition. In fact it’s had a key role for more than 50 years.

SuperValu has been the official sponsor for 22 of those years and, of course, we mustn’t forget that it is the second year in which SuperValu has had the honour of being title sponsor. The SuperValu TidyTowns competition for 2013 is now under way and, appropriately enough, aiming for a big gathering of its own: an even greater entry than the over 850 cities, towns and villages that entered the competition last year.

Tell your friends and tell your colleagues but most of all tell your town, village and city representatives to go to their local SuperValu or to our website. And may the best (and tidiest) town win!

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Londis and Budgens retailers welcome a smarter way to save

Londis and Budgens retailers have welcomed a new Smartsavings package, to help them benefit from better deals on a wide range of operating costs.

The service, introduced by Budgens and Londis working with Smartsavings to help its partners benefit from their collective scale, will make it easier for retailers to manage rising operating costs in the tough retail climate.

Kash Jaffar, who owns stores under both the Budgens and Londis brands commented, “Rising costs are a significant challenge in our business so it’s brilliant that Londis and Budgens retailers both have access to this service. Whether you have one business, or many, I have no doubt that money can be saved across these areas. I’m speaking with Smartsavings to see where I can save money and will definitely be taking advantage of this service”.

Julie Wirth, Finance Director for Budgens and Londis added: With increased pressure to remain competitive in the retail market and with value remaining critical to shoppers in these tough economic times, managing operating costs is key to being successful in retail. We have worked with our retailers to develop the Smartsavings offer which is a great solution to help our retailers benefit from the economies of scale of our network.”

Some of services available under Smartsavings include energy contracts, waste management, telecoms, cash collections, washroom services, pest control, balers, barrier mats, washroom services and age testing on sales of alcohol and tobacco,.

Richard Beale Managing Director of Brightsourcing which delivers the Smartsavings solution comments, “We are delighted to be expanding the Smartsavings scheme to all Budgens and Londis retailers. Smartsavings saves time and money by providing a one-stop shop of excellent value deals covering all major merchandise expenditures. It’s totally free to use plus retailers can choose which services they need”.

The performance of the deals will be reviewed with retailer representatives for both Budgens and Londis through retailer cost forums, ensuring retailers are benefitting from the best deals possible.

 

To sign-up and to access deals, Budgens and Londis retailers should visit www.smartsavings.co.uk/musgrave.

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Ahead of the market — now let’s stay there!

In past years a big figure posted by Ireland’s leading community supermarket network would be worthy of note mainly by the business press. Today, however, the financial experts won’t be the only ones interested in SuperValu’s announcement of retail sales of €2.1 billion in 2012.

In the teeth of still very tough economic circumstances for Ireland, the public as a whole is likely to be aware that this figure means a lot to them as well: a boost for local jobs and sales of Irish produce for a start.

It’s also gratifying for our business as a whole that a strategy we promote so strongly — supporting locally owned and operated businesses — is thriving at this difficult time. Much of that comes down to our retail partners and their deep roots in the communities they serve. We also believe that supporting local businesses, working with local producers and buying Irish or local goods and thereby circulating more money locally than internationally owned companies is a good business model. And today’s figures indicate that it is clearly good for our business. It differentiates us, it builds the brand. It encourages customer loyalty.

But it’s also good for the wider economy, on which everyone relies. Bearing that in mind keeps us focused. It’s great that SuperValu is ahead of the market. But now the focus must be on staying there.

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SuperValu outperforms the market with €2.1 billion in sales

SuperValu, Ireland’s leading community supermarket network, today announced that the brand recorded retail sales of €2.1 billion in 2012.

Said Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu; “This is a very good performance, which is ahead of the overall market. This was achieved by delivering value to shoppers through price reductions, promotions and our extensive SuperValu own brand range; the unrivalled quality of our Irish produce which shoppers can really trust; our place in the community and our commitment to deliver the best fresh food offer in the market, with ranges such as ‘Prepared by our Butcher’.”

Added Kelleher: “SuperValu is a fantastic local success story and we are extremely proud of our contribution to local communities, where quite often the store is the biggest employer in the area.  It is an internationally recognised fact that locally owned and operated businesses, like SuperValu, keep and circulate three times more money locally than those in international ownership.  There is 12,000 people employed across our store network, including 450 butchers and over 200 bakers.  During 2013, we hope to add a further 300 new jobs, as we are set to open three new stores, and extend and refurbish a further 40, as part of a €20 million investment programme by our retail partners.”

160 of these positions will be created with the opening of two greenfield sites, located in Celbridge, Co. Kildare and Milltown Malbay, Co. Clare.

During 2012, SuperValu invested €290 million in delivering value to today’s budget conscious shopper, while maintaining its policy of sourcing from Irish suppliers whenever possible.

SuperValu’s 195 stores nationwide, employ over 12,000 people, with an annual payroll of over €213 million, making it one of the State’s largest employers.  Retailers spent €75 million directly with local suppliers, allowing them to offer their shoppers exceptional local fresh produce, which they cannot get anywhere else.  Stores also spent over €15.7 million on local professional services such as accountancy, €75 million on sourcing from local suppliers and donated over €2.8 million to local voluntary and community groups.

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