Centra store has quays to city convenience

Highly anticipated Centra City Quays store set to open on 28th May, following significant £767K investment, creating 15 new jobs

Leading convenience retailer, Centra is set to open its latest new-look store at City Quays, creating 15 new jobs.  Located on the waterfront of City Quays 2 in Belfast Harbour, the brand-new store is part of a significant £767,000 investment by Musgrave and the Gracey family; a well-known local family business, based in Belfast. The new store will open to the public on Tuesday 28th May.

Centra will be the first convenience store to open in the City Quays / Clarendon Dock area, which is currently home to over 5,000 workers. City Quays will eventually provide jobs and homes for 13,000, with City Quays 2 accommodating 1,000 workers.

Spanning 2,615sq ft, the bright and contemporary new store marries high convenience with an expanded food-to-go offering. Amenities in store include Frank & Honest Coffee – the largest gourmet coffee brand on the island of Ireland; a Green Kitchen hot and cold deli, with a plentiful choice of healthy sandwich and salad options, a Mex-a-go Burrito Bar, hot self-serve food-to-go options and self-scanning checkouts. Boasting strong eco-credentials, all Frank and Honest coffee cups and food-to-go packaging will be 100% compostable.

For an enhanced shopping experience, Centra City Quays also features a seating area and complimentary Wi-Fi, providing customers with a dedicated space to dine-in and take a break. The unit will also include a covered terrace for waterfront dining and direct access to the river Lagan walk and cycleway that connects City Quays to Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.

The store is the latest addition to the Gracey family’s portfolio, which also includes two MACE stores at Newtown Park and The Gasworks. Next week’s opening builds on the family’s estate, which was established by leading retailer, Tony Gracey over two decades ago. Today, his daughter Anna and son Stephen are at the helm of this latest addition to the family business.

Commenting ahead of the opening, Anna McErlean said: “Our business was founded by our father Tony Gracey 22 years ago. At one point, he had 10 stores, before deciding to consolidate the business in 2010 to two stores – Mace Newton Park and Mace Gasworks. 

“I joined the business around seven years ago; I had just completed my law degree at Queen’s University and thought it would be a good opportunity for me to learn that side of the business before deciding my career path – I never left. My brother Stephen joined the business in 2018 after four years working in retail business development. Our passion for the business and customer-centric approach has at the heart of our recent successful refit of our Gasworks store and the opening of our new store at City Quays. 

“Our father Tony has decided to take more of a back seat, with Stephen and I now at the forefront of the business today. Together we are proud to mark another milestone as we open our new Centra store at City Quays, bringing significant investment to the local area. We are proud of our roots in the Belfast retail space and are proud to bring further employment to the city.”

 Nigel Maxwell, Centra Sales Director added: “We are delighted to support the Gracey family in this exciting new venture, which brings significant investment to Belfast. One of our core objectives is to work with our retailers with a joint aim to redefine convenience for the consumer. The new Centra City Quays store does just this; bringing an exciting and fresh retail concept to the area that will be matched by the first-class customer service synonymous with the Gracey family name.”

 “We are confident that our new look Centra stores offer customers an enhanced shopping experience, where they can get value for money, without compromising on quality. We are sure this new look store will be a great addition to City Quays, which features a vibrant business and residential community.”

 Graeme Johnston, Belfast Harbour’s Property Director, said: “With over 5,000 workers already based in the area, further offices underway and the Marriott hotel now open, this is a significant opportunity for Centra.

“As part of the procurement process to secure a retailer we surveyed existing workers in City Quays. They wanted access to a wide range of quality, fresh produce that supported healthier lifestyles – Centra’s modern take on convenience and coffee was a perfect fit.

“City Quays has already become a natural extension of the City Centre.  With the waterfront walkway and attractions such as the Marriott hotel and now Centra, we expect even greater numbers of people to visit and enjoy this new part of Belfast.”

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Centra reveals what’s behind the helmet of the GAA All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship’s

Centra to champion the importance of hurling to Irish community life

Tuesday May 21st, 2019: The GAA All Ireland Hurling Championship occupies a unique place in Irish Sport and the first two weeks of the Championship have reminded us why anticipation is building in communities right around Ireland on what lies in store for their county team. Centra has teamed up with Clare’s Podge Collins, Galway’s Niall Burke, Cork manager John Meyler and Dublin’s Cliodhna O’Connor, to reveal their passions on and off the pitch.

Centra, Ireland’s leading convenience retail group with more than 460 stores nationwide, understands the unique pride and passion reserved for our national sport, hurling. Located at the heart of communities nationwide, Centra celebrates its association with the GAA All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship through its #WeAreHurling campaign. The campaign seeks to recognise and celebrate the individuals within those communities be it players, supporters, coaches, parents and in many cases its own Centra local retailers that help make hurling great.

Over the course of the GAA All Ireland Hurling Championship, Centra will seek to get behind the helmet of their GAA ambassadors who are some of Ireland’s best-known hurlers and their support teams to unearth what it is that not only drives their passion for the sport, but also their passions off the pitch.  Centra will share the stories of what it means to the ambassadors to represent their communities on hurling’s biggest stage.  In doing so, Centra will explore the emotion generated by the GAA All Ireland Hurling Championships beyond just the players and the teams, but into communities right around Ireland – and the unique connection felt by many to the GAA no matter the extent or type of their involvement.

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director with Centra, emphasised the importance of Centra’s partnership with the GAA. “Centra is very proud to be entering our tenth year as sponsors of the GAA All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Our partnership with the GAA is a natural fit given the role we play in over 460 communities across the country, communities in which the GAA plays a hugely significant role with many of Centra’s retailers playing a pivotal role in providing support to their local GAA clubs. We both believe in the power of community and the important role we play in improving the everyday lives of people within those communities right across Ireland. We are excited that our campaign this summer will further explore our #WeAreHurling platform and we will help sports fans to get a deeper understanding of the players and support teams by revealing what is behind the helmet and sharing their stories.”

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, John Horan said: “The GAA partnership with Centra is a natural fit. Particularly, our shared presence at the heart of communities right around Ireland. Centra’s #WeAreHurling is a celebration of the power of community and the potential of what can be achieved when people come together.  

“The Centra campaign brings to life the nature of the GAA as an organisation, in particular the reliance on the goodwill and volunteerism of people right around Ireland at all levels of the game. Ultimately, this prepares and supports players and coaches to represent their local communities at the pinnacle of the sport, the GAA All Ireland Hurling Championship. We have no doubt that a great summer of hurling lies in store and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Centra to highlight the positive impact of the Championship on communities right around Ireland.” 

As in previous years, tickets for GAA All Ireland Senior Championship activity are available to buy in selected Centra stores located in communities right around the country.   

For exclusive content and to see how Centra will champion the hurling community across Ireland, follow #WeAreHurling, @CentraIRL on Twitter, @centra_irl on Instagram and www.facebook.com/CentraIreland

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Triple delight for Musgrave NI as company scoops Industry Awards

Triple delight for Musgrave NI as company scoops three Industry Awards for its SuperValu, Centra and Frank and Honest brands

Leading family-owned business, Musgrave NI, which owns the SuperValu, Centra and Frank and Honest brands, celebrated success at a recent awards ceremony, where they picked up three top awards for their work across Northern Ireland.

The company and its leading brands won three of the eight awards they were shortlisted for at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards at the Culloden Estate and Spa on Friday 10th May and were highly commended for three more.

SuperValu clinched the coveted Best CSR Initiative / Charity Partnership for its SuperValu SuperStars initiative, which celebrates the unsung heroes in communities across Northern Ireland and was highly commended for its SuperValu Signature Tastes campaign in the Best Product Launch category.

Meanwhile, Centra picked up the award for Best Digital Marketing Campaign for its Centra Live Well initiative, which was designed to motivate and inspire individuals and communities across Northern Ireland to get active and eat well.

Both SuperValu and Centra were Highly Commended for their Christmas Lapland in the Best In-Store promotion category. It was also a big night for the company’s artisan coffee brand, Frank and Honest, which picked up the award for Best Green Marketing Initiative for its compostable cups initiative and was highly commended in the Best Brand category.

Frank and Honest is now the largest-selling on-the-go coffee brand on the island of Ireland based in over 700 locations across the island, with over 110 of these in Northern Ireland. In 2018, sales objectives were exceeded, with over 2.5million cups of Frank and Honest coffee sold in the first two years. Feedback from customers and retailers alike continues to exceed expectations, with the vast majority stating that Frank and Honest is the best ‘on-the-go’ coffee on the market. The brand was also the first national coffee brand to introduce compostable cups; an initiative that will potentially divert millions of coffee cups from landfill annually.

Friday 10th May, Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards at the Culloden Estate and Spa (Pictured: L-R): Desi Derby, Marketing Director, Musgrave; Stephen Bogle, brand manager, SuperValu NI; Jennifer Morton, brand manager, Centra NI; and Brendan Gallen, Head of Marketing, Musgrave NI.

Commenting after the Awards, Brendan Gallen, head of marketing, Musgrave NI said: “We’re proud to be recognised for our work across SuperValu, Centra and Frank and Honest brands at the leading grocery marketing awards in Northern Ireland.

“To win three of the most hotly contested categories and be highly commended for a further three Awards, is no mean feat. While these awards are recognition of the strength of the brands and our marketing campaigns, it goes without saying that it is the hard work of our retailers and store managers that ensures that our brand promise and values are lived out for our shoppers.”

The Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards took place at the Culloden Estate and Spa on Friday 10th May and were hosted by TV personality, Claire McCollum.

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Musgrave announces profit of €84.5 million for Financial Year 2018

10th May – Musgrave today announced results for the financial year ended 29 December 2018, with turnover up 3.8% to €3.9 billion and profit before tax of €84.5 million, a 5.6% increase on the previous year.  Net assets were €410 million, an increase of €79 million on 2017 and the business ended the year with net cash of €16 million.

Commenting, Chris Martin, Musgrave Chief Executive said:
2018 has been another successful year for Musgrave. Despite very competitive markets, for the fourth year in a row we have reported increased profit, with all our brands performing well and growing.  Our performance underlines the success of our Growing Good Business strategy, which is on track to deliver long-term growth. Through this strategy, we are successfully evolving our business to provide people with unique food experiences when, where and how they want them.  This is being delivered through investment in digital, a focus on innovation and with our retail partners who are responsive to the local needs of shoppers. We are pleased that our recent acquisitions, La Rousse Foods and Donnybrook Fair, which we acquired in 2018, are performing well and we continue to explore further acquisition opportunities.”

Business Review
Musgrave’s Growing Good Business strategy has seen the business grow its existing brands, create new brands and look for opportunities to build or acquire businesses in new and emerging sectors of the food industry. We are setting up the business for the long-term to realise opportunities in a growing food market across the island of Ireland estimated to be worth in excess of €30 billion and set to rise to €37 billion by 2025.

As Ireland’s largest private sector employer our brands underline our commitment to innovation and our entrepreneurial culture.  SuperValu and Centra both celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. SuperValu was Ireland’s first supermarket brand and has gone from strength to strength, recording a new retail sales milestone of €2.9 billion across the island of Ireland in 2018.

SuperValu provides value, great quality Irish produce and a differentiated offer which aligns with the changing expectations that consumers have of grocery retail particularly in the areas of health and sustainability.  In 2018 this included the roll-out of dedicated vegetarian/vegan zones across SuperValu stores, the introduction of fully compostable and biodegradable bags and the piloting of a living herb wall concept, giving shoppers the option to pick their own fresh produce from the plant, while reducing packaging and food waste.

In 2018 Centra performed strongly and has redefined the convenience market by focusing on unique food experiences and fresh, healthy food-to-go products, as the breakfast roll makes way for healthy alternatives like Cold Pressed Turmeric Shots and Paleo Superbowls. With retail sales of €1.9 billion in 2018, Centra is now globally recognised as the future of convenience grocery shopping.

In the symbol market, our Daybreak brand continues to perform strongly with 17 new stores added in 2018 bringing the total to 237 stores.  The new brand format includes the introduction of three new sub-brands – Munch and Co. deli; 9 Grams coffee and Lickety Split ice cream providing shoppers with a diverse offering throughout the day.

Our wholesale and foodservice business continues to flourish with sales in 2018 up 13 percent to €0.6 billion. Musgrave MarketPlace has evolved from a cash and carry concept into Ireland’s leading wholesale business for retailers and a one-stop shop for the country’s growing hospitality sector.  The acquisition of fine food specialist La Rousse Foods has allowed us to broaden our presence in the restaurant market, sourcing and supplying the highest quality produce for Ireland’s top chefs. We are now able to service every area of the hospitality and foodservice sector across the island of Ireland with more than 1,800 products; from basic everyday items, to premium, artisan and locally sourced produce.

Musgrave’s Spanish business performed well with sales of €190 million in 2018 benefiting from the addition of two new Dialprix stores during the year and the recent opening of a new cash & carry outlet in the South East region of Spain.

We continue to see international opportunities and we are exploring more partnerships similar to our export agreement with Alosra, where we have responded to increasing demand for great quality own brand products.

In 2018 we continued to innovate with new brands and ranges. Building on the success of Frank & Honest, which is now the largest coffee brand in Ireland, we established new brands including Moo’d – an ice cream brand that combines the best Irish dairy and Italian ingredients; Caramico – a premium pizza range which will be freshly cooked in stone-based ovens in-store at select Centra stores; and Green Kitchen – a new brand that allows customers to create their own salads from a wide selection of fresh ingredients.

We also completed the acquisition of Donnybrook Fair in 2018 as part of our focus on identifying new growth opportunities. Donnybrook Fair supports our strategy of building brands that provide people with unique food experiences at home and out of home and it strengthens our presence in the growing Dublin food market.

While the Irish economy remains robust, there are a series of international factors including Brexit that could have a negative effect on consumer confidence here in Ireland.  We have been systematically planning for Brexit for the last two years in order to minimize the impact on shoppers, support our retailers and protect our business. Our ambition remains to become the undisputed number one in grocery retail and wholesale across the island of Ireland.

In this evolving retail and food environment, there has never been a better time to be part of independent retailing and our partners are benefitting as they adapt and react to consumer needs and changing food trends. With their local approach and community insight, coupled with our expertise in brand innovation, we have a winning combination that works today, and give us confidence as we look to the future.


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