Ireland’s number one convenience retailer to add 460 jobs to store network and open 20 new stores in 2017.
Centra has recorded sales of €1.59 billion in 2016, a 3% increase on the previous year’s performance which further cements Centra’s position as the market leader in the Irish convenience sector. Underpinned by its strategy to redefine convenience, Centra will build on this momentum in 2017 with plans to open 20 new stores, adding a total of 460 new jobs to the Centra network as part of a €20 million investment.
Centra’s continued growth was driven by the implementation of the retailer’s transformative ‘Live Every Day’ programme. Through ‘Live Every Day’, Centra is redefining convenience in response to changing consumer shopping habits, with the introduction of healthier convenient food ranges and new in-store experiences providing shoppers with extensive choice and a leading food offering.
The new brand positioning comes in response to a growing consumer trend towards healthy alternatives which has so far seen Centra increase sales of salad boxes by 80%, a 46% rise in sales of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, and a 22% increase in water sales. By reducing shelf space for carbonates and promoting healthier alternatives instead, Centra sales of water have grown by over five times that of carbonates in the last year alone.
Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of Centra, said: “Centra’s performance in 2016, reaching record sales of €1.59 billion, underlines our position as the market leader in Irish convenience retail. The fact that our sales figures have increased by 3% is reflective of our consumers’ positive response to our efforts in providing them with a new level of convenience shopping. It is a further testament to the success of Centra’s unique retail model, whereby Centra stores are independently owned and operated by 450 local retailers across Ireland. Our committed retailers are the driving force behind the brand’s continued growth.”
“As part of our strategy to redefine convenience, we have already invested €10 million in the introduction of a radical new Centra in store experience. In 2017 we will continue to invest heavily to maintain our position as the leader in healthy convenience, refurbishing over 100 stores, adding 20 new stores to the Centra network and creating 460 new jobs as a result,” concluded Kelleher.
The innovative ‘Live Every Day’ store look and feel has received international acclaim, with the convenience brand winning Gold at the A.R.E (Association for Retail Environments) Design Awards in Las Vegas – Centra clinched gold alongside other world-renowned brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, LEGO and Under Armour.
As well as radically evolving the in-store look and feel, Centra ranges are also undergoing a major transformation with the introduction of new healthier bakery ranges, a gourmet deli as well as an innovative coffee offering, Frank and Honest. The success of Frank and Honest is underlined by growth in Centra’s hot beverages sales of over €5 million in 2016.
With over 450 stores, Centra employs almost 11,000 people and serves over three million customers per week. Centra invests more than €240 million in local communities per annum, which is the equivalent of €4.5 million per week through a combination of payments to local suppliers, acquisition of local business services, wages, charitable donations and local sponsorships.