Recent Centra store openings – Dungannon M1 and River House, Belfast

From l-r: Nigel Maxwell, Centra Northern Ireland Sales Director with Sharon and George Patterson, Dungannon M1 Store Owners[/caption]

We are delighted to announce the recent opening of two new Centra stores in Northern Ireland, Centra M1 Dungannon and Centra River House.

The highly anticipated brand-new store at Dungannon represents an investment of £2.2 million creating 50 new jobs in the area. It opened its doors to the public on Thursday 22nd August providing a welcome stop for those travelling to and from the west of the province. Centra M1 Dungannon marks the second store opening for local businessman, George Patterson of Patterson Oil who already owns Centra Gilford Road in Portadown.

Dungannon follows hotly on the heels of Centra River House which continues the brand’s Belfast City Centre expansion. The store opened to the public on Tuesday 13th August and is located on the ground floor of the new 13-storey building on High Street – the perfect convenience location for the numerous private offices and co-working spaces in the area and a welcome addition to the business community. With £400,000 investment, the new store creates 15 jobs and marks the fourth Centra store for owner Donagh McGoveran – adding to properties in Stranmillis, Malone Road and Donegall Street.

Welcoming the recent developments, Nigel Maxwell Sales Director Centra Northern Ireland said “At Centra, our focus is on redefining convenience – providing our shoppers with a healthier offering and innovative ranges, particularly in food-to go and our Frank and Honest coffee brand. Centra M1 Dungannon and Centra River House are the latest examples of our stores responding to the changing needs of the busy consumer.”

From l-r: Nigel Maxwell, Centra Northern Ireland Sales Director and Donagh McGoveran, River House Store Owner
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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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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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Daybreak Dungarvan WINS Best Overall Store of the Year & the Charity Merit Award at Daybreak Store of the Year Awards

Daybreak Dungarvan was named ‘Best Overall Store of the Year’ and also took home the ‘Charity Merit Award’ at the annual Daybreak Store of the Year Awards, which took place Thursday the 4th of April. Hosted in the Knightsbrook hotel, Co. Meath, the awards recognise retail excellence across Daybreak stores nationwide.

As well as scooping the top accolade, Overall Store of the Year on the night, the store also took home the Charity Merit Award for its outstanding achievement in raising over €9,000 for the Irish Heart Foundation, Daybreak’s charity partner in 2018. Daybreak Dungarvan, located on Youghal Rd, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, is owned by Kevin Forde and employs 28 people.

Daybreak is Ireland’s fastest growing convenience group with over 220 stores nationwide. All stores are independently owned by local retailers ensuring that each store can respond to the everyday needs of their local community.

Fifteen retailers were shortlisted for the overall Daybreak Store of the Year Award, which focuses on four key areas – products & services, store environment, communications, and people. During the competition stores were assessed against rigorous criteria, including a series of mystery shopper surveys and audits on store standards.

The Dungarvan-based store was also recently awarded the highly prestigious Q Mark Emerald Standard. The National Q Mark awards are widely recognised in Ireland’s food service industry as the Oscars of Business Excellence. The Q Mark is the highest standard of food safety available in Ireland and verifies Daybreak Dungarvan’s efficiency, performance and commitment to food safety.

As well as the coveted overall Store of the Year accolade, other awards on the night focused on key in-store categories and store layouts. The winners were: 

  • Best Forecourt Store of The Year & Health Champion Award: Daybreak Southlink
  • Best Neighbourhood Store of The Year: Daybreak Rolestown
  • Best High Convenience Store of The Year: Daybreak The Gandon Inn
  • Best Wine Award & Best Off-Licence Award: Daybreak Raven Terrace
  • Best Impulse Award: Daybreak Castlerea
  • Best Food to Go & Hot Beverage Award: Daybreak Cloonboo
  • Best Product Availability Award: Daybreak Drumgoold
  • Best Customer Service Award: Daybreak Tractamotors

Speaking at the Daybreak Store of the Year awards ceremony, Thomas Morrison, Head of Retail Sales, Musgrave Wholesale Partners, said:

“Huge Congratulations to Kevin Forde and his hardworking team at Daybreak Dungarvan on winning ‘Best Overall Store of the Year Award’ and the ‘Charity Merit Award’ at the Daybreak Store of the Year Awards. The Store of the year awards celebrate excellence in convenience retailing and highlight the great consumer experience provided across the Daybreak network. It was a tough competition this year with many worthy contenders and this win is a testament to the team’s huge effort and commitment to providing to providing a great service to their local community.”

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Centra Kilcullen named Best Convenience Store in Ireland for 2019

11th February 2019 – Cross’ Centra in Kilcullen, Co Kildare has been named the best Convenience Centra store in Ireland for 2019. The store received the much-coveted accolade at the Centra National Conference, which took place at the Great Southern Hotel, Killarney.

Andrew Cross from Cross’ Centra was presented with the award by Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of Centra, Dan Curtin, Centra Sales Director and JF Michel, Account Director of Three Business, competition sponsors.

As part of the competitive process, retail consultant Dr Alan Collins audited Centra stores across Ireland, with each participating store assessed for its range, quality, customer service, hygiene, service offering and local community involvement.

Receiving the award, store owner Andrew Cross paid tribute to the team at Cross’ Centra and acknowledged that their enthusiasm and dedication were determining factors in the Kilcullen store being selected as the 2019 Centra Best Convenience Store in Ireland.

“It is great to receive this acknowledgement and the team and I are delighted to accept this award. We strive to give our customers the best shopping experience with the best value and convenience. The team has worked hard and enthusiastically all year so I dedicate this award to them, well done everyone. It is a pleasure to receive this award and I would like to thank all involved,” Mr Cross said.

Commenting on the awards, competition judge Dr Alan Collins said: “It is always a delight to engage with owners who are passionate about their stores, colleagues, customers and communities – and you can sense this passion as soon as you set foot in the door at Cross’ Centra. It’s a great store with such high-quality products with the added bonus of convenience. This is the kind of store everyone wants in their community and I would like to congratulate you and your colleagues on all that you have achieved.”

Dan Curtin, Sales Director of Centra, commended all Centra retailers for their contribution to redefining convenience shopping.Centra stores, such as Cross in Kilcullen, are perfect examples of independent retailers working hard in their local communities to succeed in a very competitive market, by meeting the needs of their customers. They provide choice, value and excellent service within their locality on a daily basis. Congratulations to the team at Cross’ Centra, who have gone above and beyond to maintain the highest standards across the store.”

With over 462 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.

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Mangan’s Centra in Edenderry named the Best High Convenience Store in Ireland for 2019

11th February 2019 – Mangan’s in Edenderry, Co Offaly has been named the best High Convenience Centra store in Ireland for 2019. The store received the much-coveted accolade at the Centra National Conference, which took place at the Great Southern Hotel, Killarney.

Ciaran Mangan from Mangan’s Centra was presented with the award by Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of Centra, Dan Curtin, Centra Sales Director and JF Michel, Account Director of Three Business, competition sponsors.

As part of the competitive process, retail consultant Dr Alan Collins audited Centra stores across Ireland, with each participating store assessed for its range, quality, customer service, hygiene, service offering and local community involvement.

Receiving the award, store owner Ciaran Mangan paid tribute to the team at Mangan’s and acknowledged that their enthusiasm and dedication were determining factors in the Edenderry store being selected as 2019 Centra High Convenience Store of the Year.

“It is great to receive this acknowledgement and the team and I are delighted to accept this award. We strive to give our customers the best shopping experience with the best value and convenience. The team has worked hard and enthusiastically all year so I dedicate this award to them, well done everyone. It is a pleasure to receive this award and I would like to thank all involved,” Mr Mangan said.

Commenting on the awards, competition judge Dr Alan Collins said: “It is always a delight to engage with owners who are passionate about their stores, colleagues, customers and communities – and you can sense this passion as soon as you set foot in the door at Mangan’s. It’s a great store with such high-quality products with the added bonus of convenience. This is the kind of store everyone wants in their community and I would like to congratulate you and your colleagues on all that you have achieved.”

Dan Curtin, Sales Director of Centra, commended all Centra retailers for their contribution to redefining convenience shopping.Centra stores, such as Mangan’s at Edenderry, are perfect examples of independent retailers working hard in their local communities to succeed in a very competitive market, by meeting the needs of their customers. They provide choice, value and excellent service within their locality on a daily basis. Congratulations to the team at Mangan’s Centra, who have gone above and beyond to maintain the highest standards across the store.”

With over 462 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.

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Centra delivers record sales of €1.63bn in 2018 with plans to open 25 new stores

25 new stores to open, along with 80 revamps, as part of an €35 million investment;
Centra continues to redefine the convenience market as the breakfast roll makes way for healthy alternatives like Cold Pressed Turmeric Shots and Paleo Superbowls;

4th February 2018 – Ireland’s leading convenience retailer Centra registered a new record in 2018 after hitting sales of €1.63 billion, an increase of 3.6% year on year, further cementing the brand’s position as number one in the convenience market.

The convenience retailer plans to build on this momentum by opening 25 new stores across the country this year, as well as refreshing 80 stores, as part of a €35 million investment, which will see 375 jobs added to the Centra network. The revamp programme will see Centra rolling out the latest thinking in the convenience market that will meet new trends and provide shoppers with a seamless shopping experience.

The launch of the retailer’s new premium “Inspired by” Centra range last July, which includes products like Cold Pressed Turmeric Shots and Paleo Superbowls, reflects the evolving taste of the Irish consumer who is more health conscious and looks for premium products. Since its launch last July, the range has already recorded €6.3 million in sales and it continues to grow rapidly.

The Frank and Honest gourmet coffee offering available in Centra has been a real success, quickly establishing itself as the number one coffee brand in Ireland and recording a 40% growth in coffee volume in 2018. Frank and Honest’s popularity has been further built upon with the launch of capsule and whole bean ranges for the at home market, a range of coffee accessories and the roll out of instore cafes.

Building on its successful introduction of new brands, this year Centra is rolling out a new ice cream brand – Moo’d – to over 200 stores, adding a further seven products to the range and launching new take-home packs in three flavours. Combining the best Irish dairy and Italian ingredients, a unique delicious ice-cream range has been created to offer a contemporary take on an Irish favourite.

Speaking at the Centra conference at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney, Martin Kelleher, Centra Managing Director, said: “Our record sales performance is testament to the dedication of over 463 Centra store owners across the country who provide market leading stores in convenient locations and our ongoing investment in shaping the future of the convenience market. Responding to consumers, retailers and market trends, Centra has developed a healthier offering and innovative range unrivaled by competitors. We plan to continue our expansion through new initiatives like our Inspired by Centra luxury range, Moo’d ice cream and Frank and Honest Coffee along with driving innovation across all areas of the store.”

“In the past, convenience stores would have been synonymous with the breakfast roll but walking into a Centra today illustrates how the concept has been revolutionized with products like Cold Press Tumeric Shots and Paleo Salads. We aim to stay one step ahead of the competition in this respect by ensuring we stay close to the modern Irish consumer who is looking for health alternatives, innovative ranges and great quality food for those short on time”.

With over 463 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.

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Incredible success for Centra and Mace

Convenience retail brands, Centra and Mace, owned by Musgrave, are celebrating after they picked up four prestigious awards between them at a recent retail awards ceremony.

Mace Kildress in County Tyrone won Neighbourhood Store of the Year – Category 1, whilst Derry~Londonderry stores, Centra Waterloo Place picked up Neighbourhood Store of the Year – Category 2 and Centra Claudy won Best Customer Service at the Neighbourhood Retailer Awards.

Continuing a run of recent high-profile award wins, Lusty’s Centra Larne, who were named Independent Drinks Retailer of the Year at the Retail Industry Awards last month, took home the coveted title of, Off-licence of the Year.

Michael McCormack, Managing Director, Musgrave, said: “It was a huge night for our Centra and Mace retailers and I’d like to congratulate them on their incredible success at the awards.

“Excellence is second nature to our retailers, whether that’s the customer service they provide or the food and drink they serve, so these big wins are recognition of the hard work all four stores and their teams have put in over the years so well done again from everyone at Musgrave.”

Richard Lusty, owner of Lusty’s Centra Larne, said: “We are so proud to have picked up the award for Off-licence of the Year on behalf of our hard-working team.  We are still on a high after winning an award for our off-licence at the UK Retail Industry Awards, considered to be the Oscars of the retail world, so to take home a further accolade is something we’re extremely happy about.

“We put a lot of work into every aspect of our store and the response from our customers has been just fantastic.  We will continue to give the people of Larne and the surrounding areas the best service and quality food and drink they have come to expect from us.”

Mark Kavanagh, Centra Waterloo Place, said: “We are so proud to have picked up the award for Neighbourhood Store of the Year Category 2 on behalf of the whole team at Centra Waterloo Place. We work so hard on all aspects of our store experience so to take home the award was a massive boost to us all and we will continue to give every customer who comes to our store the best of ourselves.”

Edel O’Connor, Store Manager, Mace Kildress, said: “We are delighted to have won this award. We would like to thank our devoted staff and loyal customers for their support over the years.”

George Gormley, owner of Centra Claudy, said: “To be awarded the top honour for having the Best Customer Service is truly humbling for us and the whole team. We love what we do, and our loyal customers are always so appreciative. Our staff will certainly be walking with a spring in their step following this honour.”

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