XL enables retailers to provide a diverse and appetising deli menu in environmentally friendly compostable packaging

Q&A with…Paul Bealin, sales director, XL Retail Group


Brand Central

25 October 2022

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Name of group: XL Retail Group

Sales director: Paul Bealin

Number of stores nationwide: 230+

Typical store size: 110 sqm

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

Wholesale partner: Value Centre

Type of distribution network: 21 Value Centre and cash & carry branches nationwide and chilled distribution

Website: www.xlstores.ie

Social Media: www.facebook.com/XLIreland/

Tagline: A great deal more at your local store

Paul Bealin

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

A: XL Retail Group offers our retailers a flexible, market-leading package which enables them tailor their shop to consumer needs and react quickly to changing market conditions and help grow their business. What helps set XL Retail apart is our true dedication to our retailer base. Our team is passionate about retailing and that manifests itself in the service we provide our retailers. They know that one of the team is never more than a phone call away and every member of that team is solution focused. Strategically positioned with 21 Value Centre and cash and carry outlets located around Ireland, every XL retailer is never far from one and has the full support of their branch.

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

A: Being part of the BWG Foods family means that we are constantly innovating and availing of the supports that come with a larger wholesale partner. BWG Foods has a dedicated Food & Beverage Innovation team and under the direction of head of innovation, Orla Jordan, she and her team are constantly seeking ways to grow and evolve the XL offering, such as Háo Chi Bar, The Local Tea Company, Popsicle, Pazza @ Home and I-Scream, the exclusive ice cream offering on offer for all XL retailers.

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: XL retailers are also passionate about providing value to their customers, while not compromising on quality, which is at the forefront of the XL offering. XL Retail Group is just as passionate about delivering for our retailers as well as ensuring they deliver the best value they can for their customers. We hold regular seasonal Trade Show events for all our retailers to avail of exclusive offers and deals from a network of 650+ suppliers.

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

A: XL has a loyal online community of local advocates whereby we engage with them on Irish focused content, fun facts, helpful everyday life hacks and exclusive consumer competitions. These consumer competitions run up to five times a year both on social and in-store, aiming to celebrate consumer loyalty as well as encourage it. The campaigns will often involve a fun or a local community engagement element and with prizes that often support Irish businesses, which is at the heart of XL’s ethos. XL’s support of Irish Music Month, which is shortlisted for an award, was a really timely and extremely positive one, strengthening XL’s ambition to continue to support Irish industries and home-grown talent.

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

“We see areas like alcohol, deli and coffee sales as key areas where we can thrive,” says XL sales director Paul Bealin, who is “excited about delivering great value, choice, service and exciting consumer promotions to our customers”

A: At its core, XL Retail Group passionately believes in supporting Irish. This manifests itself in how the group does business and, indeed, who we do business with through engagement with suppliers. Sourcing products locally is hugely important as all XL retailers pride themselves in supporting Irish suppliers in every way they can when possible. As part of BWG Foods, the XL Retail Group is able to leverage industry-leading expertise, knowledge and insight into what customers want. For example, the emergence of foodservice within its retail estate and our offering enables retailers to provide a diverse and appetising deli menu in environmentally friendly compostable packaging. It is through initiatives such as this that XL Retail Group and our retailers continue to serve customers’ needs.

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

A: We have worked hard over the last number of months and years to grow the XL offering and brand and we have ambitious and, critically, achievable plans for not only consolidating that growth but also enhancing it. We see areas like alcohol, deli and coffee sales as key areas where we can thrive, and I am very excited about delivering great value, choice, service and exciting consumer promotions to our customers.





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