Gala Retail

Gala Retail is continuing to build on the success of the Gala brand through the development of new products and concepts

Q&A with… Gary Desmond, CEO, Gala Retail


Brand Central

27 October 2022

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Fact File

Number of stores nationwide: 250 in Gala Group – Gala and Your Stop stores

Typical store size: 1,750sq ft

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

Wholesale partner: Gala wholesaler members

Type of distribution network: Ambient depots, central billing, chilled distribution


Social media: Retail,

@Gala_Retail on Twitter

@Gala_Retail on Instagram

Gala Retail Services on LinkedIn

Gary Desmond

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

A: At Gala, ensuring that our retailers are supported is key to the success of our stores and the Gala Group as a whole. The team at Gala HQ and our network of retail operations executives have a wealth of experience in the Irish convenience-retailing sector, providing support, advice and assistance to retailers for every facet of their business. Each Gala store has the support of a dedicated retail operations executive who along with the team at Gala HQ and the Fresh Food team, support retailers with everything from delivering team training, establishing store layouts to maximise sales, the activation of marketing and promotional initiatives and the implementation of fresh food concepts in-store. In addition to this, the Gala GROW network (an online resource for retailers) and our weekly internal newsletter to retailers provide regular updates of key information for our retailers on everything from upcoming offers and promotions, marketing support and industry and group news and developments.

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

A: The latest Gala branding is what modern convenience retailing is all about and provides a positive shopper experience with a vibrant and contemporary colour palette and innovative store layout options that cater to the differing requirements of customers of each Gala store. Gala Retail stores are tailored to the communities in which they operate and the ability to adapt store layouts and create a bespoke offering has been instrumental in creating a space that showcases what our retailers have to offer.

As the convenience retail sector has evolved, with fresh food offerings emerging as a key driver for consumers, food to go options has proven to be huge factor in driving footfall and increasing basket spend over the past few years and Gala has responded by making fresh food innovation a key area of focus.

Gala’s Coffee Junction and Baker’s Corner offerings are a cornerstone of Gala stores, and the addition of the ‘New Street Deli’, ‘Distill’ and ‘Galato’ offerings in recent years has proven to be beneficial for retailers in driving sales and footfall. We continue to build on this success through the development of new products and concepts that enhance the Gala offering.

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: The cost-of-living crisis is a major concern for retailers and consumers alike.

We understand that our retailers are facing rising costs within their businesses, and this puts pressure on retailers to absorb these costs and avoid passing them on to shoppers. With inflation hitting 11% in latest reports, we are working with our network of wholesalers and suppliers to ensure we are competitive and as streamlined as possible, not just for our customers but for our retailers through affinity group deals.

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

A: At Gala, we have a year-round marketing plan designed to elevate the Gala brand and reflect our fundamental brand values of community and Irishness. Our brand marketing each year incorporates a number of in-store promotions designed to reward customers and drive footfall in Gala stores; sponsorships that reinforce Gala’s commitment to communities across Ireland, such as the Gala Inspiration Awards, which recognise individuals who go above and beyond to support and improve their communities and our sponsorship of Starcamp Summer Camps with Gala Retail which take place in over 250 locations across Ireland, as well as our CSR activity with our charity partner of seven years, Special Olympics Ireland.

These activities highlight to consumers that Gala Retail is committed to rewarding the loyalty of our customers and to supporting Irish organisations, on a national and local level, through our sponsorships and brand partnerships. Our brand marketing activities are underpinned with a year-round calendar of social media activity that further promotes our marketing activations, sponsorships and partnerships to consumers online.

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

A: As a leading Irish convenience retail group, supporting local Irish suppliers is of paramount importance to Gala Retail. It has always played a key part of our strategy and has helped us to continue to grow. We actively encourage and support our retailers in their commitment to source and stock products from local suppliers, and we encourage Irish producers to reach out to us as a group, so that we can maximise these opportunities for all.

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

A: Our main goal for the next 12 months is for the Gala Group to grow, as one, working together to expand the footprint of the Gala brand across the country by continuing to offer our retailers innovative concepts, unparalleled support and the tools they need to build a store offering that gives consumers the value, choice and top-quality customer service that Gala retailers are synonymous for.




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