The gateway to West Cork
The newest addition to the Costcutter family has opened on the Bandon Road in Cork and is causing quite a stir
11 March 2015 | 0
O’Brien’s Costcutter, Bandon Road, Cork
Size: 2,800 sq ft
Nestled at the hub of activity on the Bandon Road in Cork stands the latest addition to the Costcutter franchise. O’Brien’s Costcutter proudly displays “The gateway to West Cork” above its doors and no one can argue with that given its prime location and stunning variety of services.
Launched in December 2014 and with a staff of 26, O’Brien’s Costcutter stands on a 2,800 square foot site and has already established itself at the heart of its community and become the essential stop for commuters on the busy Bandon Road.
Such a state-of-the-art offering is a fitting stage on which the Costcutter franchise can display its position as one of the most respected retail groups in Ireland and one that is carrying an undeniable sense of momentum with it after a strong 2014.
Last year saw the Costcutter retail brand go from strength to strength with a significant enhancement of offers and some 15 new stores coming on board with the franchise.
60 years for Barry Group
Costcutter’s parent company Barry Group celebrates its 60th year in business this year and the Mallow based wholesale distribution group’s range of services and products along with its consistent commitment to innovation is the prime reason O’Brien’s chose Costcutter as their retail group.
According to Michelle O’Brien: “There’s a great sense of security with Barry Group and a great sense of partnership. From the managing director Jim Barry right through to the telesales staff, everyone wants to give you everything they have in order to make the store a success. The Costcutter brand really gives us that stamp of quality too and the ease of the ordering process along with their commitment, it really helps us in getting on with managing the store.”
One stop shop
Upon entering the store, it’s easy to be taken aback at just how vast it is and just how many different sections there are. From a busy deli, to a full off-licence offering, there is also a café with an expansive seating area and a terrific view. The store is full with everything the modern shopper expects, making O’Brien’s Coscutter the one-stop shop on the way to West Cork.
The store’s design was a huge project taken on by the O’Briens last year. After settling on the site, they went about incorporating this vast space into their design. A commuter has everything they may need under one roof, with the Costcutter exclusive own brand range of chilled and fresh food offering an important point of difference for the convenience shopper.
This new range has boosted business considerably for the Costcutter stores’ network allowing stores to provide a high-quality value offering for customers nationwide and is the result of a very successful roll-out of a best-in-class chilled distribution solution in late 2013. That in essence ‘completed the set’ for Costcutter in what it could offer retailers. Barry Group MD Jim Barry says that the market has become very competitive. “More people are fighting for a smaller slice of the cake, driving the need for businesses to reinvent themselves and we have done everything we can to take that on board and make sure we are offering every available resource to our retailers,” he says.
Barry is clearly delighted with the quality of the newest Costcutter. “The quality of the store is clear to see for anyone who steps in the door. It’s a massive achievement for the O’Briens and their team and to all of our team at Barry Group in getting such a great offering up and running. It certainly joins some of our other stores nationwide as a standard bearer for the Costcutter brand.”
Inevitably, there was some trepidation before taking the plunge with the business but having secured their prime site and with the backing of Barry Group, the O’Briens are confident they have established a business that will be profitable for years to come. “There’s always some bit of nervousness when you start something new,” says Michelle O’Brien. “You wonder how people will react and there are loads of variables to consider but to be honest, we were confident we had a great site, a good design and with Barry Group as a partner that knew everything about the business and would always be on the other end of the phone if we needed anything.”
Barry Group commercial director John McAllen says there was a real vision about what they wanted to create from the start. “It was a great fit from the start, a terrific site and you could tell from the moment we sat down to speak, that the whole of the team at O’Brien’s had a real vision of where they wanted to go. For us, it was a case of mapping out everything and offering them every conceivable resource.”
In just a couple of short months, every area of the site has enjoyed a strong performance. The store’s off-licence offers everything a customer could want with the Barry Group exclusive own brand beers such as Brandeburg and wines such as Pontebello Pinot Grigio proving big sellers.
The ‘Café Verganno’ is proving extremely popular with drivers looking for their daily coffee while the Costcutter store is the engine driving the whole site with fresh food offerings, a vast range of product at great prices and a seemingly always jam-packed deli.
Good end to a good year
Indeed it is fitting that O’Brien’s Costcutter opened at the end of December 2014 and completed a year in which the Costcutter brand enjoyed such strong expansion. Jim Barry puts this down to a company-wide root and branch review which laid the foundation for its success. He says: “Retailers have noticed improvements in our buying and selling approach and we have made positive changes in every area of the business from range and marketing to the backup logistics and store operations. We scrutinised all aspects of the business so as to continue offering the high level of service our customers expect, and we are confident in our ability to compete at the highest level, and the quality of this store only strengthens that belief.
“We’re very excited with our plans for the next 18 months and the standard and variety here is exactly what we want to offer to new retailers. We’re fully confident that the measures we’ve put in place in the past year will reap huge benefits for our retailers and especially for new retailers,” he says.
According to Michelle O’Brien they are very pleased with the partnership they have with the Barry Group. “We’re excited at the potential of the store and we couldn’t be happier with our symbol group partner. It’s so important these days to be part of the group but it’s also important to be part of the right group, and at every stage of the process, Barry Group and Costcutter have felt right for us. Ollie Savage, our store rep Declan Ryan, Alan O’Connell and Chris Maguire have been an enormous help to us and of course, our store manager Shane Byrne does a great job so that’s really gotten us off the ground from the very start.”
From the hive of activity in the car park to the warm laughter of the café, right through to the bustling custom in the store, O’Brien’s Costcutter has already firmly cemented its status as the place to stop and shop on the Bandon Road and has already more than lived up to its billing as the gateway to West Cork.