Making Cork more accessible

Musgrave recently partnered with Access Earth to run a Volunteer Mapping Event on the afternoon of the 14th of June 2019 where colleagues, from the Airport Road office Cork, worked in pairs to rate various business places around Cork city on their accessibility using the Access Earth App.

Access Earth is the world’s first business and travel site for people living with disabilities (‘the TripAdvisor for people living with disabilities and their caregivers’). It was founded by Matt McCann – Matt has cerebral palsy and has struggled with accessibility challenges.

Access Earth is founded on three main principles – know more, do more, live more. They believe that they can open the world to this community by providing and crowdsourcing the most critical information to access restaurants, hotels and attractions (Know More). By providing this information, it will give those in the community the opportunity to go out and experience new things (Do More). With access to this information, they aim to inspire and encourage their community to find joy in life in spite of their challenges (Live More).

Over the course of an afternoon, colleagues rated 605 places.

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Musgrave to ‘redefine convenience’ in Northern Ireland with ambitious expansion plans

Owners of SuperValu, Centra, MACE and MarketPlace announce £28million investment, with plans to open up to 20 new stores, creating around 550 jobs

Leading grocery and convenience retailer, Musgrave NI, which owns the SuperValu, Centra, MACE and MarketPlace brands, has announced ambitious plans to open up to 20 new stores in Northern Ireland in 2019, creating around 500 new jobs and revamping an additional 40 stores, as part of a significant £28 million investment.

The ambitious growth strategy is part of Musgrave NI’s vision to ‘redefine convenience’ through the creation of refreshed, inviting, modern stores that challenge the status quo.

The platform for growth for Musgrave NI is built upon an incredibly positive performance in Musgrave Group. Within the Group, turnover grew by almost 4% to €3.9bn last year, with pre-tax profits rising 5.6% to €84.5m. Across the island of Ireland, SuperValu grew sales last year by 1.5% to €2.9bn, with Centra growing 4% to €1.9bn. In Northern Ireland, SuperValu, Centra, MACE and MarketPlace delivered significant growth in 2018, with positive year on year sales growth across all brands.

Commenting on the announcement, Michael McCormack, Managing Director of Musgrave NI said:

“These results provide a solid platform for us to grow our presence in the NI market and we very much leverage our Group strength when it comes to buying, tapping into expertise and adapting concepts that we see working across our business.

“While 2018 was a good year, we know we can’t stand still. Our plans are ambitious but achievable. For us, this is all about how we’ll realise our vision to ‘redefine convenience’ in Northern Ireland.’

“We have been working towards achieving this vision across our SuperValu, Centra and MACE brands; focusing on what matters to our shoppers – bringing healthier, restaurant quality food to convenience and continuously innovating across all aspects of convenience.”

Over the last two years, artisan on-the-go coffee brand, Frank and Honest has been introduced to 110 SuperValu, Centra and Mace stores across Northern Ireland. With over 700 Frank and Honest locations across the island of Ireland, Frank and Honest is now the largest on-the-go coffee brand on the island.

New food concepts including Green Kitchen – a freshly prepared standalone salad bar – has grown significantly, off the back of consumer demand for fresher, healthier options from consumers. The company has also seen success in of its new XO Donuts brand, which it launched in 2018. To date, in excess of 40,000 donuts have been sold.

The 20 new store openings will be made up of a mix of brand new store developments and acquisitions, as Musgrave seeks to convert retailers and buy new sites.

Michael added: “Our aim to redefine convenience is underpinned by our ability to grow our estate across the SuperValu, Centra and MACE brands. That’s why we’ve been extremely active in the market – we’re opening brand new stores – as we’ve done with the recent opening of Gracey’s Centra City Quays, Belfast and in Mallusk, where we are building a new Centra store this year.

“First and foremost, we want to work with the best independent retailers and grow business together. However, as we seek to grow and offer our existing retailers the benefits of scale, we are looking at converting retailers and saying to those that are thinking of selling their business, freehold or leasehold – that we are very much open for business.”

Revamping existing stores within its estate is also a core part of Musgrave’s ongoing investment and growth strategy. Retailers that have completed refresh programmes are demonstrating robust sales growth. There’s an impressive pipeline of recent refreshes – more than 80 in recent years – including Lilley’s Centra at Dublin Road, Enniskillen, Moran’s Centra Strand Road, Derry-Londonderry, Watson’s Centra Cloughey, SuperValu Comber and SuperValu Kings Road. The next refurbishment will take place at SuperValu Lisburn.

Looking to 2019, the Musgrave NI brands will tap into a number of consumer trends and the merging of retail and foodservice to achieve further growth, bringing more new concepts to the Northern Ireland market.

One of those new concepts is Caramico pizza, a concept using authentic pizza ovens to offer a freshly made pizza in-store. It has been rolled out successfully by Musgrave in the Republic of Ireland, driven by a high-quality product that surpasses other established pizza brands. Key to the concept is a ‘for now’ and ‘for later’ offering for consumers. A rotisserie style chicken concept will also be rolled out following successful trials.

Last year, Musgrave celebrated 35 years in business in Northern Ireland, is a committed local employer of over 5,000 people across its business along with a dedicated partner of almost 130 retail families within the province.

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World Food Safety Day

Today, Friday 7th June 2019 has been designated as the first World Food Safety Day by the United Nations General Assembly.

The theme for the day is ‘Food Safety, everyone’s business’.

There are currently 600 million cases of foodborne illness around the world every year (1 in 10) with children under the age of 5 years of age being 50% of all cases are representing over 125,000 deaths annually. The World Food Safety Day is a tangible signal by the World Health Organisation to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne disease globally.

Ray Bowe, Head of Food Safety and Quality, said: “Musgrave is supporting World Food Safety Day through various channels of communication with our retailers, consumers and internal colleagues in addition to collaborating with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and Safefood. Musgrave remains committed to the highest standards of food safety throughout the supply chain and our teams work to continuously improve standards.”

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SuperValu celebrates 10 years as GAA partner

SuperValu, Ireland’s leading retailer with over 220 stores nationwide, launched their 10th year as sponsor of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship.

Joined by their GAA ambassadors – Dublin’s Bernard Brogan, Mayo’s Andy Moran, Galway’s Damien Comer, Cork Captain Doireann O’Sullivan and former Cork star Valerie Mulcahy – SuperValu revealed that they will contribute over €2.6 million to the GAA and GAA Clubs across the country, this year. Throughout their 10 years as GAA sponsor, SuperValu has contributed over €18 million to aid the development of our national sport.

Speaking about the launch, Ray Kelly, SuperValu Marketing Director, said: “Our partnership with the GAA has been a fantastic fit for SuperValu, over the past 10 years. From GAA to Tidy Towns, SuperValu prides itself on being a valued member of every community in which we operate. Our GAA partnership has allowed us to support the development of the game – from where it all begins at grassroots level in towns and communities across Ireland, to players who represent their parish and county. We are very proud to have been on this journey for the past decade and we look forward to continuing our support.”

As part of their sponsorship activity this Championship season, SuperValu will work with its ambassadors and the GAA community, to explore what it is that makes GAA so unique. The importance of “Where you’re from” and the passion it generates through both players and fans will be explored through SuperValu’s 2019 GAA campaign. The new campaign is sure to turn heads as it takes a look behind the scenes to highlight the real resilience of players, managers and supporters – what really keeps them coming back and on the pitch.  SuperValu will demonstrate how our communities and our involvement in GAA, helps to shape the people and players we become – how community is paramount, how community pride never leaves us and how where you’re from is truly engrained in our personal identities.

Also, to celebrate their sponsorship milestone, SuperValu announced the ‘SuperValu Community Pitch’ initiative. Open to all GAA clubs from August, ‘SuperValu Community Pitch’ is a bursary, set up to assist clubs with essential maintenance works, or facilities upgrades. Whether its upgrading changing rooms, investing in new lighting or purchasing a long-overdue piece of grounds-keeping equipment SuperValu wants to hear from clubs who need a helping hand.

“GAA and GAA clubs are such an integral part of our communities and our national identity. As we constantly strive to be champions of our communities, we are thrilled to introduce our ‘Community Pitch’ initiative. Club members and volunteers do such fantastic fundraising work, to improve their clubs and facilities but it’s hard to keep knocking on the same doors. With the introduction of this initiative, we will be able to help make a real difference by assisting some of those clubs with their maintenance works and upgrade plans,” Ray Kelly added.

For further information, check out www.supervalu.ie

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