SuperValu, the leading Irish grocery retailer, has announced that it recorded retail sales of €2.58 billion in 2014. This represents a new milestone for the brand, following the addition of 24 former Superquinn stores to the business in February 2014. As a result, SuperValu now holds 24.9% market share and serves over 2.6 million customers every week.
SuperValu plans to invest €18 million in opening four new stores in 2015, which will add 280 jobs to the SuperValu network. Some of the locations will include Athlone and Kilcock. Together with its retail partners, SuperValu employs approximately 14,500 colleagues, making it one of the State’s largest private sector employers.
Commenting at the SuperValu national conference in Killarney today, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu, said: “We are satisfied with our current trading performance, having finished the year well with a good Christmas trading period. We believe that SuperValu can continue to go from strength to strength in 2015. We will continue to drive the momentum behind SuperValu into 2015 through our food leadership programme, commitment to local suppliers through initiatives like Food Academy, and exceptional value through quality own brand products and promotions.”
“Quality is where SuperValu really stands out. We have butcher counters in store and our fresh meat is 100% Irish, so we lead the market in terms of quality food that consumers can trust. The fact that the majority of our stores are independently owned means that our retail partners can source local products that you simply won’t find on shelves anywhere else. We have really leveraged this over the past year through the Food Academy programme, helping over two hundred small Irish suppliers gain their first listing with a grocery retailer.”
One of the major achievements by SuperValu in 2014 was the establishment of the Food Academy programme, which is a joint initiative between SuperValu, Bord Bia, the Local Enterprise Office Network to support small food companies in Ireland.
By virtue of its community retailer model, whereby stores are independently owned by local entrepreneurs, SuperValu is able to give Food Academy participating companies the unique opportunity of starting their journey on a small scale. Participants are mentored by SuperValu and are able to secure listings with individual stores, helping them grow to a point where they are on a commercial footing to supply a network of stores.
200 small food producers supported by the Food Academy will generate sales worth €10 million with SuperValu in 2015. 30 high performing small food companies have also graduated to Food Academy Advance, the next stage of the programme, to allow them to scale up and secure national listings with SuperValu.
This support for Irish suppliers was one of the reasons why SuperValu was recognised as the best supporter of Irish producers, according to an independent study by Checkout and Ignite Research in 2014. Of the 3,000 respondents surveyed for the ‘Where We Shop 2014’ report, one third of shoppers named SuperValu as the best promoter of Irish products, ahead of any other grocery retailer in Ireland.
75% of everything on SuperValu’s shelves is sourced or produced in Ireland. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible and purchases almost €2 billion worth of goods from Irish suppliers which help to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.
Photograph by Domnick Walsh Photography