A symbol of success

BWG has put in place a programme of co-investment with Londis retailers to upgrade and modernise stores
BWG has put in place a programme of co-investment with Londis retailers to upgrade and modernise stores

Ireland has one of the most highly developed convenience sectors anywhere in the world, with thoroughly impressive standards and innovative in-store concepts. How do you make sure you chose the right symbol group for you? Read on to find out...

Print

PrintPrint
Brand Central

Read More:

18 August 2016 | 0

Conor Hayes, sales director, Londis

Conor Hayes, sales director, Londis

Londis_Green_on_whiteFact file

Name of Group: Londis

Head office: BWG Foods, Greenhills Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24

Type of distribution network: National distribution centre servicing fresh, ambient and alcohol to stores nationwide

Number of Stores nationwide: 130+

Colours: White and green

Tagline: “Local like you”

Average Store Size: 200 square metres              

Wholesale partner: BWG Foods

The full low-down with… Conor Hayes, sales director, Londis

Main advantages

Londis joined BWG Foods in 2015, making it another landmark year in the history of the brand, following on from its 60th birthday celebrations. Londis was originally founded by a group of like-minded retailers who wanted to secure better trading terms from suppliers and to enhance their businesses through collaboration and co-operation. This sense of community and co-operative ethos remains at the forefront of how Londis does business today.

Supporting Irish

Londis has very strong links to Irish suppliers across our range of goods from fresh to frozen. Londis retailers are also very good at supporting suppliers in their locality because an integral part of the Londis model is to be a part of the local community and supporting local initiatives in any way they can.

Values central to Londis’ brand ethos

Londis has a very distinct personality and set of brand values, which is brought to life in the ‘Local like you’ marketing programme and showcases just how much Londis retailers care about the local communities which they serve.

A powerful advocate of supporting local, Londis is delighted to be involved with Catherine Fulvio’s new TV show, ‘Tastes Like Home’ which is due to air in November. Catherine is a perfect fit for the Londis brand, being a Wicklow girl herself she values the importance of good quality food and has a great ‘local like you’ attitude.

The campaign was launched in March 2016, by sending life size Catherine Fulvio cut-outs to all stores with application forms so customers could apply to be a participant on the show.  In conjunction with this there was a heavyweight social media promotion where customers could apply through www.londis.ie and the Londis Ireland Facebook page. The show’s production team was inundated with entries from villages and towns across the country, finally the applications were whittled down to just six people.

Improvements over past year

Londis has introduced Bia Blás, a new and exclusive deli offering, as well as a new bakery concept and three new coffee offerings

Londis has introduced Bia Blás, a new and exclusive deli offering, as well as a new bakery concept and three new coffee offerings

There have been lots of developments at Londis since joining BWG, with a particular focus on retail innovation, product offering and store design and layout. Several new and exclusive food and beverage offerings have been launched in recent months. Chief among these is a focus on foodservice with the introduction of Bia Blás – a new and exclusive deli offering, as well as a new bakery concept and three new coffee offerings.

The brand’s private label offering is being expanded to focus on fresh and chilled, giving Londis retailers access to BWG’s exclusive sub-brands such as Glenmór meats, Fresh Choice produce and the extensive exclusive agency wine portfolio. Londis retailers also have access to a new category management system to improve effectiveness of product layout and drive sales.

Significantly, BWG has put in place a programme of co-investment with Londis retailers to upgrade and modernise stores, giving retailers access to funds which may not have been readily available in recent years. This is supported by the launch of a brand new store concept, which is being rolled out this year.

It is all these initiatives combined that ensures differentiation from competitors, along with driving growth across the Londis estate.  Importantly, these new changes will allow the retailers more time on the shop floor, enabling them to deliver on what matters most; giving the local Londis customer the best shopping experience possible.

Growth in 2016

With the support of BWG Foods behind the brand, in partnership with ambitious Londis retailers and alongside new initiatives like Bia Blás, Londis expects to see healthy growth in the year ahead.


Colin Donnelly, Spar sales director

Colin Donnelly, Spar sales director

SPAR master logo

Fact file

Name of group: Spar

Spar Dame Street’s impressive exterior: Spar states its policy of recruiting independent retailers who share its vision for the brand is paying dividends

Spar Dame Street’s impressive exterior: Spar states its policy of recruiting independent retailers who share its vision for the brand is paying dividends

Head office: BWG Foods, Greenhills Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24

Type of distribution network: National distribution centre servicing fresh, ambient and alcohol to store nationwide

Number of stores nationwide: Over 400

Colours: Red, white and green

Tagline: ‘Under the tree at Spar’

Average store size: 200 square metres 

The full low-down with…Colin Donnelly, Spar sales director

Main advantages

Spar is one of the country’s largest convenience retail groups, bringing consumers the most innovative in-store offering and shopping experience for over 50 years in convenience, neighbourhood and supermarket shopping under the Spar and Spar Express formats.

Spar has a number of exclusive offerings, including Tasty Deli and coffee partnerships with Insomnia, Tim Hortons and most recently, Seattle’s Best Coffee, only launched in 2015.

Supporting Irish

Spar is particularly focused on supporting local Irish suppliers and giving them a platform to reach thousands of customers on a daily basis. Spar and Eurospar were the sponsors of the inaugural Bite Food Festival, showcasing the best of artisan suppliers where one producer – Grandma Henvey – was selected as a new supplier to the brand.

Values central to Spar’s brand ethos

Spar offers a number of exclusive offerings, including Tasty Deli and coffee partnerships with Insomnia, Tim Hortons and most recently, Seattle’s Best Coffee

Spar offers a number of exclusive offerings, including Tasty Deli and coffee partnerships with Insomnia, Tim Hortons and most recently, Seattle’s Best Coffee

While convenience is the foundation on which the Spar brand is built, the offering is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of consumers. Today, Spar focuses on the new customer, price and value is a key factor in the Spar offer, and the offer is always evolving. Our new initiative and focus on health and wellbeing SparBetter Choices’, is delivering new sales in key categories. It is Spar’s firm belief that we are not in the food business serving people but in the people business serving food, so superior customer service is the key to our brand and to the success of Spar overall.

Being part of Spar international, Spar retailers have unique access to some of the best practice in retail from around the world. In return, Spar Ireland is a leading light on a world stage, responsible for pioneering some of the latest and greatest thinking in convenience with new store designs and food solutions such as the one currently being rolled out across the estate.

Improvements over past year

With a strong focus on health and wellbeing, Spar has introduced the Spar Better Choices initiative to stores this year as part of the growing demand for healthy and nutritious food from consumers. The Spar Better Choices campaign aims to offer customers a new range of healthy and convenient options, from across the fresh food, deli and grocery ranges. The initiative also caters to customers with varying nutritional needs with low fat, high protein, and gluten free products on offer. Spar Better Choices was launched by Claudine Keane in June and we will launch ‘Spar Better Choices Kids’ in August.

Spar has had a busy year on the marketing front, continuing to co-invest with our retailers in promoting the brand through a number of high profile sponsorships and activities. 2016 has been a fantastic year for Spar so far due to its exclusive sponsorship as convenience retail partner of the FAI and its hugely successful Team of Gary Breen’s campaign during Euro 2016. The campaign was led by digital and social media with an online video produced featuring Gary Breen himself to recruit people to enter a competition.

Spar also continued to sponsor the very successful Spar FAI Primary School 5s Programme with the final taking place in the Aviva on 11 May. This year nearly 24,000 children from 1,267 schools participated making it the most successful year to date.

A Spar store continues to feature on the set of the nation’s favourite soap, Fair City, as part of the ongoing sponsorship. This year Spar’s exclusive Tasty Deli was added to the set ensuring that Spar’s new look and feel is communicated to viewers.

Growth in 2016

Spar is showing very strong overall sales performance for 2016 and more importantly organic sales are now positive throughout the entire country. This is testament to all the hard working Spar retailers that have worked tirelessly over the past number of years. We are very confident at Spar with our growth plans for 2016 onwards with a strong pipeline of new business for the remainder of the year. Our policy of recruiting independent retailers who share our vision for the Spar brand is certainly paying dividends.


Colm F

Colm Fitzsimons, XL national business development manager

xl colours vrs. maceFact file

Name of symbol group: XL

Head office: BWG Foods, BWG House, Greenhills Road, Tallaght,

Dublin 24

Type of distribution network: 22 Values Centres nationwide and chill distribution

Number of stores nationwide: Over 240

Colours: Blue, green and silver

Tagline: ‘A great deal more at your local store’

Average store size: 110 square metres

Wholesale partner: Value Centre

The full low-down with…Colm Fitzsimons, XL national business development manager 

Main advantages

In recent years, XL has focused more than ever on delivering value through everyday price reductions and ongoing special offers and promotions

In recent years, XL has focused more than ever on delivering value through everyday price reductions and ongoing special offers and promotions

XL offers retailers the opportunity to retain their independence and local identity while benefitting from the many advantages of symbol group membership. XL offers a flexible, market leading package which enables retailers to tailor their shop to consumer needs and react quickly to changing market conditions to help grow their business. XL’s affordable fit-out cost is one of the many attractions, with access to competitively priced products and innovative offerings via BWG Foods being another major advantage.

XL’s consumer competitions that run up to five times a year give XL a point of difference from competitors and it typically gives away over 1,000 prizes each year. For example, XL is currently running a summer competition to win a 2017 family holiday with consumers redeeming a free bucket and spade in-store and then snapping a picture of it on their holidays and uploading it to the group’s Facebook page to be in with a chance to win. XL is having a fantastic response to this competition with buckets and spades flying off the shelves in many stores!

Supporting Irish

XL retailers are very conscious of their local credentials and being a part of the local community is very important to them so they aim to support local, Irish suppliers as much as possible.

Values central to XL’s brand ethos

As a group of neighbourhood stores run by independent retailers, XL’s ethos is underpinned by a dedication to community retailing, price and value. Our ongoing aim is to improve the shopping experience for customers and ultimately drive footfall and sales for XL’s retail partners. That means delivering a more customer-centric category management system, coupled with innovation and expansion in popular categories such as coffee, fresh food and wine.

In recent years we have focused more than ever on delivering value through everyday price reductions and ongoing special offers and promotions, making XL appealing and relevant to retailers and their local shoppers.

XL has added two new coffee brands, Insomnia and Seattle’s Best, alongside its focus on in-store bakery

XL has added two new coffee brands, Insomnia and Seattle’s Best, alongside its focus on in-store bakery

Improvements over past year

XL has introduced a new deli concept which is proving very successful, the addition of two new coffee brands, Insomnia and Seattle’s Best and a focus on in-store bakery. We have also introduced an extensive consumer value message, which is a key addition to the symbol this year.

Growth in 2016

We are planning to add more than 20 new stores to our network by the end of the year as part of our national growth strategy which resulted in 23 new store openings in 2015. The XL network currently has 240 stores nationwide providing employment to over 2,400 people. XL has added more than 100 stores over the past four years, making it the fastest growing retail brand in Ireland.


MACE logo

Alex Banahan, Mace sales director, BWG Foods

Alex Banahan, Mace sales director, BWG Foods

Fact file:

Name of group: Mace

Head office: BWG Foods, Greenhills Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24

Type of distribution network: National distribution centre servicing fresh, ambient and alcohol to stores nationwide

Number of stores nationwide: 240

Colours: Turquoise and orange

Tagline: ‘Going the extra smile’

Average store size: 135 sq metres

Wholesale partner: BWG Foods

Forecourt partner: Strategic partnership with Maxol and operates forecourt locations with a broad variety of fuel partners

The full low-down with Alex Banahan, Mace sales director, BWG Foods

Main advantages

Through the Mace Excellence Awards Programme, run in conjunction with EIQA, Mace ensures that its stores provide best practice retailing to shoppers

Through the Mace Excellence Awards Programme, run in conjunction with EIQA, Mace ensures that its stores provide best practice retailing to shoppers

Through a strong shopper offering, focused on both neighbourhood and forecourt retailing, comprehensive national and local marketing programmes and unrivalled retailer support, Mace sets itself apart from our competitors. Mace prides itself on ‘going the extra smile’ and through the Mace Excellence Awards Programme, run in conjunction with EIQA, we ensure that our stores provide best practice retailing to shoppers. Mace has launched a unique shopper feedback programme throughout our network to ensure that measurement of performance in this area is consistently a focus for retailers and for the Mace management team. The value offering is tailored for the two sets of store types and shopper types that exist within the group with promotional activity focused on forecourt shoppers and on neighbourhood store shoppers. Exclusive Fairtrade coffee offerings, a Mace own brand range, a high quality Irish-sourced Glenmór meat range combined with exclusive wines, beers and spirits ensure that Mace shoppers are fully serviced across each store type as appropriate for their needs.

Supporting Irish

Mace has been a part of the Irish community for over half a decade, so understanding our local customers is central to each and every business. Many of the Mace stores have been owned by generations of the same family and are well established in their local community; they support local teams and community initiatives.

In 2014, Mace named the Irish Hospice Foundation as its charity partner and Mace retailers and their shoppers continue to raise money for this very deserving charity, in particular for the Nurses for Nightcare programme. Donations are made to the charity through the sale of a selected range of Mace own brand products, from collection boxes in stores and through locally organised fundraising activities.

Working in conjunction with dietitian Aoife Hearne, the Mace Right Options range provides shoppers with the ‘right option’ for their lifestyle across all food and drink offerings

Working in conjunction with dietitian Aoife Hearne, the Mace Right Options range provides shoppers with the ‘right option’ for their lifestyle across all food and drink offerings

Values central to Mace’s brand ethos

Mace is a convenience retailer that promotes a proposition of ‘Going the extra smile’, based on the fact that consumer research found Mace is the standout retailer when it comes to valuing its customers. Mace believes in going the extra smile: customers are greeted with a friendly ‘hello’, a smile and a ‘thank you; each store owner makes sure the right range of products are stocked to meet local shoppers’ needs; store layout is designed and planned to make shopping enjoyable and easy.

Improvements over past year

Capturing the shopper trends towards a desire to follow a healthier lifestyle, Mace has introduced a new programme called Mace Right Options. Working in conjunction with dietitian Aoife Hearne, the range offers Mace shoppers the ‘right option’ for their lifestyle across all food and drink offerings.

With a brand position of ‘Going the extra smile’, the Mace team has introduced a programme of customer service training for its store staff. By identifying a customer service champion in each store who undertakes an intensive training programme, it means that each champion is in a position to deliver top-class customer service to shoppers and to instil similar practices with other staff members.

Growth in 2016

The Mace brand goes from strength to strength in both forecourt and neighbourhood retailing and there is a strong programme of activity and investment to ensure that this continues in the year ahead.


Costcutter Logo_PTBL

Jim Barry, managing director, Barry Group

Jim Barry, managing director, Barry Group

Fact file

Name of group: Barry Group

Head office: Upper Quartertown, Mallow, Co Cork

Type of distribution network: Wholesale, chilled, ambient and alcohol distribution

Number of Stores nationwide: Costcutter: 120+ Carry Out: 100+

Group colours: Red, yellow and white – Carry Out

Green, red and white – Costcutter

Tagline: ‘Proud to be local’ – Costcutter

‘Simply better wines, beers and spirits’ – Carry Out

The full low-down with…Jim Barry, managing director, Barry Group

Main advantages for retailers

 

Our team approach is the obvious first advantage. As a company we focus on the combined efforts of all departments and team members. We refer internally to this approach as ‘one team – one plan’.

Based on the momentum of the first half of 2016, Barry Group says it would expect to grow retail turnover in both Costcutter and Carry Out in excess of 15% over the next 12 months

Based on the momentum of the first half of 2016, Barry Group says it would expect to grow retail turnover in both Costcutter and Carry Out in excess of 15% over the next 12 months

This approach ensures consistency, and that all individuals and departments are working in the same direction towards shared goals, designed to build our retail brands and continually enhance the service we provide group retailers and the profitability of their business model.

That fact that we are a family-owned professional managed business is an advantage, as we understand the challenges and needs of other family-run businesses.

This encompasses the challenges that impact on a family business, apart from normal day-to-day trade. We support group retailers in issues such as planning for the next generation and succession management, financial management, resourcing professional expertise and services, and other family concerns that can impact the business.

Our size is a major advantage. We are big enough to buy in large quantities to maintain a competitive offering, and small enough to keep in close contact with our retail customers and understand their needs.

Our scale also ensures our customers have access to the professional and logistical supports needed, quickly and efficiently, and are able to compete effectively and meet the consumers’ needs.

Basically, our team is readily available, on the end of the phone or in person. Our size means we have the flexibility to respond to challenges quickly, and to act on market demands and customer feedback.

Specific advantages include:

  • An experienced account manager for every 16 Costcutter stores nationally, facilitating high call frequency and practical support
  • Leading edge retail technology, integrated from point of sale to our centralised ordering and distribution
  • A dedicated Customer Service team – proactively seeking out opportunity to enhance the service to retailers and, in turn, to their customer base
  • Most competitive franchise in the market when it comes to costs and marketing overhead
  • In-house HACCP expertise and dedicated retail excellence programmes
  • Dedicated fresh food sales expertise
  • Training centre for retailers on all aspects of food/beverage retailing, back office, business management, marketing and staff training
  • Regional workshops, ‘What Perfect Looks Like’, to help upskill our retail partners and their team on all aspects of running the store.
Costcutter offers in-house HACCP expertise and dedicated retail excellence programmes, alongside dedicated fresh food sales expertise

Costcutter offers in-house HACCP expertise and dedicated retail excellence programmes, alongside dedicated fresh food sales expertise

Supporting Irish

As a company we are proud to be Irish. Many of our suppliers are local Irish producers.

Values central to brand ethos

The Barry Group values, and what we celebrate in our business and in our trade partnerships, are integrity, customer focus, which covers our trade customer and the consumer, teamwork and achievement.

 

Costcutter offers in-house HACCP expertise and dedicated retail excellence programmes, alongside dedicated fresh food sales expertise

Costcutter offers in-house HACCP expertise and dedicated retail excellence programmes, alongside dedicated fresh food sales expertise

Improvements over past year

First of all, we have kept our focus on our own high-performance positive team environment, as it drives the quality of our service to our customers. We are the only wholesaler in Ireland to be accredited by both the ‘Great Place to Work’ Institute, and Deloitte’s best managed business awards.

As part of our business planning process we identify key areas of focus for the development of our symbol offering, with the current focus including:

  • Strengthening our deli and hot food advisory capacity
  • Developing a training hub for customers
  • Redefining and evolving our process for how customers are served
  • Continued development and training for account managers and other key team members interfacing with customers
  • Development of the inside sales function to a more pro-active and planned sales approach
  • An enhanced approach to range management in partnership with Neilson
  • Strengthening the food safety process right along the food chain
  • Redesigning our promotional collateral, to make it easier to use instore and highly impactful

Growth forecast

We are very excited by the positive start to 2016, already beating our ambitious targets for the first six months trade, including opening a further 17 stores this year-to-date.

Based on the momentum of the first half of 2016, and the strategy and plans in place to drive turnover and profitability, we would expect to grow retail turnover in both Costcutter and Carry Out in excess of 15% over the next 12 months.

In line with expanding store numbers, both within our current customer base, and new retailers joining the groups, the Barry Group has committed serious investment to developing our resource for retailers.

Recruitment, including regional managers, IT specialists, and experienced buyers is ongoing, as well as investment in the brands, store development and design, and marketing and logistics enhancements. We have recruited in areas of food safety and food hygiene plus appointing a new marketing manager and brand co-ordinator.


Your Local Market Logo

Gary Desmond, Gala Retail CEO

Gary Desmond, Gala Retail CEO

Fact file

Name of group: Gala Retail

Head office: Summit House, Embassy Office Park, Kill, Co. Kildare

Type of distribution network: 15 ambient depots, central billing, chilled distribution

Number of stores nationwide: 186

Colours: Green & white

Tagline: ‘Your local market’

Average store size: 1,750 sq. ft.

Wholesale partner: Gala wholesaler members

Percentage of stock that must be purchased through central billing: Dependent on product mix within store

Forecourt partner: Retailer choice

The full low-down…with Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala Retail

Brand history

Gala added ten new stores to its retail estate within the first six months of 2016

Gala added ten new stores to its retail estate within the first six months of 2016

Established in 1998 and wholly Irish-owned, Gala is one of the most progressive symbol groups operating in the convenience retail market in Ireland. Gala stores are renowned for their high levels of service, and commitment and support of local communities.

The team at Gala has the knowledge and structures to support the ambitions of our retailers. We place a strong emphasis on creating success through profitability and work hand in hand with our retailers to ensure their business is the very best that it can be.

As a business partner to our stores, at Gala we provide a professional development team, planning and design service, ongoing support from the regional management team, comprehensive promotions, national and local marketing support.

Baker’s Corner, an exclusive bakery offering to Gala retailers, has been a key growth area and Gala’s latest in-store concept is Coffee Junction

Baker’s Corner, an exclusive bakery offering to Gala retailers, has been a key growth area and Gala’s latest in-store concept is Coffee Junction

Main benefits and point of difference

The management and support team at Gala Retail is on hand to support, educate and help guide our retailers. In addition to business support and advice, we work with retailers on helping to drive footfall and the introduction of new concepts in-store.

Each store is treated as an individual – there’s not a one size fits all model. It’s this retained level of independence that makes Gala the perfect partner for progressive retailers who value the strength of a national brand and support system, yet know what works best in their local community.

Gala’s core values

Our ethos is community convenience retailing at its best and Gala’s values remain constant: Irishness, community, innovation and excellence in retailing

Every Gala store is tailored to meet the needs of its community. Our retailers retain a level of independence within the Gala group, as they know their community best. From our store owners to our marketing efforts, which include Special Olympics Ireland, Parkrun Ireland and title sponsorship of the IFTA Gala Television Awards, our goal is to ensure that community retailing in Ireland remains synonymous with Gala.

Gala will continue its focus on health and wellness through partnerships with Unislim on the ‘Good 4 Me’ healthy eating range and Parkrun Ireland

Gala will continue its focus on health and wellness through partnerships with Unislim on the ‘Good 4 Me’ healthy eating range and Parkrun Ireland

Improvements over past year

In addition to working with Gala retailers, we are also very aware of customers’ needs and changing consumer behaviour.

In the past 12 months we have rolled out our chilled distribution model, ensuring our retailers have the ranges that customers want. This has dramatically changed their business in terms of stock availability, frequency of deliveries, product offering and promotions. We have been actively working on new in-store offerings that will present themselves in the near future. One of the key areas of growth has been that of Baker’s Corner, an exclusive bakery offering to Gala retailers, and our latest in-store concept is Coffee Junction.

In addition to new concepts, Gala will continue its focus on health and wellness with continuing partnerships with Unislim on the ‘Good 4 Me’ healthy eating range and Parkrun Ireland, promoting health and fitness in communities throughout Ireland.

Growth in 2016

We are really excited about the year ahead and have already added ten new stores to the Gala estate in the first six months. We have a number of new stores joining the Gala Group in the next few months and expect this steady rate of growth to continue throughout 2016.


 

 

Read More:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top ↑