Costcutter’s immersive store spec offers a fresh new identity to the Irish convenience trade

Q&A with…Edwina Lucey, Barry Group sales director


Brand Central

27 October 2022

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Head office: Barry Group, Upper Quartertown, Mallow, Cork

Type of distribution network: Central distribution (chilled, ambient & alcohol) from 150,000sq ft central warehouse in Mallow, Cork


Social media: Facebook: @CostcutterIreland Instagram: @Costcutterire

Tagline: ‘Proud to be Local’

Edwina Lucey, Barry Group sales director

Q: Working in partnership with retailers, what support and advice do you provide to enable them to run their businesses more successfully?

A: The support service that Costcutter retailers are provided with is quite comprehensive, and this is something we pride ourselves on. Firstly, each of our customers is visited by their account manager on a three-weekly cycle. During this visit, our account manager reviews all aspects of running a retail store in a partnership mindset which assists the retailer to enhance their local offering.

Our team of fresh food advisors also have a regular call schedule, offering training and support across all elements of deli and hot food to ensure that the deli offering remains best-in-class. Outside of these call schedules, we also offer training and support through our regular Cluster sessions where members of our accomplished team train our retailers on best-in-class business practice. In the next year we will also be launching our Retailer Excellence Academy which will build on this platform.

Q: How have you innovated to deliver in-store concepts and a store design that consumers are drawn towards?

A recent store opening in Costcutter Grenagh as the retail group expands its national footprint

A: The Costcutter store image and offering has been constantly evolving over the past six years and will continue to do for the year ahead. Our store design offers an economical and long-term affordable option for retailers who are looking to appeal to the modern consumer. Our key focus here is on customer experience and ensuring that anyone who walks through the doors of a Costcutter nationwide, has an immersive and memorable experience that they will continually return to.

Speaking specifically on our range of in-store concepts, these have delivered well for us since their introduction and are continually expanding and adapting. At present, we have Urban Sips coffee, Market St. Deli and Freezi Licks. In the coming months, we are adding in a pizza offering to optimise the deli space for the evening trade and have more great additions being launched in the new year. Additionally, we are working on range extensions for our existing concepts to offer more reasons for customers to shop at Costcutter.

Q: As the cost-of-living-crisis continues to affect consumers’ budgets, value-for-money has become even more important. How are you ensuring you provide the best value and promotions possible for your retailers?

A: We are aware of how difficult it is for consumers and retailers alike with the rising costs of living and doing business. Both are feeling the pinch from rising costs of not only food but also commodities like electricity which have fallen victim to extreme price hikes. Firstly, we have enhanced our promotional campaigns. From a value for money perspective for consumers, we have identified a range of products consisting of both secondary brands and private label products with savings of up to 30% compared to leading brands which will be marketed as our ‘price fighter range’. Additionally, with the price of fuel and electricity rising to unforeseen levels, we have a focus on our range of winter essentials which will offer value for products including solid fuels.

Q: How extensive is your brand marketing programme and how do you ensure your messaging resonates with consumers?

A: We make a considerable investment into our brand marketing programme, one which is growing year on year as our retail footprint expands. From a sales activation perspective, we have a three weekly promotional cycle which is accompanied by POS at store level and both local and national marketing initiatives. While this is important, we also have a keen focus on brand building campaigns and in the past year have partnered with Movember as our charity partner and are the primary sponsor of Triathlon Ireland’s Youth Series. Supporting local communities is in our DNA and we are delighted to be involved with both of these organisations. We also have had successful partnerships with influencers including chef Daniel Lambert who has featured on Ireland AM, making delicious meals using ingredients that are available in our retail outlets nationwide. From a local perspective, our retailers also activate campaigns which tie into what we are executing at a national level.

For us, our brand messaging is quite simple because it is genuine. As previously stated, supporting local communities is in our DNA and this resonates with our customers deeply. We always stay true to our roots and our retailers live the brand ethos incredibly well.

Q: How are you working to support local Irish suppliers and deliver quality Irish produce for your retailers?

A: Supporting Irish is key for any business today. Historically, we have always been flying this flag and it is great to see this now being recognised as an industry standard. Irish produce is delivered to our stores daily through two different methods. Firstly, for established Irish brands, we stock them in our national distribution centre from where we deliver to our Costcutter stores three times a week. However, we are conscious that there are many smaller Irish suppliers that deserve shelf space and we work with them on a different model where they deliver straight to our customers’ doors. It is great to be able to spotlight these businesses, big and small, and see them performing.

Q: How would you sum up your main goals for the next 12 months?

A: While our focus for 2022 was redefining the baseline of the business after the past two years which was landmarked by Covid and Brexit, for 2023, we are energised by the opportunities that lie ahead. From a recruitment perspective our aim is to grow the groups footprint by excess of 10%. We have a strong pipeline of stores that will open over the coming months in our strategic growth locations. We will also be making key additions to our store offering through the introduction of new concepts to our portfolio for retailers to avail of. Lastly, we will be utilising digital to further enhance our customer experience and look forward to being able to share more on this in the coming months.

On an overall basis, we expect to grow the Costcutter brand by double digit growth for 2023 via 2022 and look forward to the future trajectory of the brand.





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