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Did You Know? May 13, 2014

Published on May 12 2014 3:14 PM

Did You Know? May 13, 2014

Did you know… Musgrave chief executive Chris Martin has told Retail Intelligence that the retailer intends to "apply disciplines" to its UK-based Londis operation, following its disappointing performance last year. "We’re saying to retailers ‘look, these rules and these disciplines are here for you, firstly because you get the benefits of the investments we make, and also because you know that the retailer down the road is also performing to these standards'," Martin said. "The good retailers are crying out for this. Over the next few weeks and months as we start imposing those disciplines, some retailers will say ‘yes, that’s for me’, while some will say ‘no, its not’." Musgrave's UK operation saw its sales decline by 3% last year, according to its full year results issued last Friday. Former retail director at Tesco UK, Peter Ridler was appointed managing director of Musgrave Retail Partners GB last week, following the recent departure of Donal Horgan from the role.

Did you know...Lidl was revealed to be behind the hugely successful pop-up restaurant last week in Temple Bar’s Meeting House Square? Known as ‘The Secret Garden’ and open for one week only, the restaurant was booked out almost every lunch and dinner slot. 'Irish Nostalgia' was the central theme which was created by Harry Colley and Cúán Greene using only Irish produce, supplied from Lidl. The Deluxe range produce included Deluxe Irish Hereford Steaks supplied by Slaney Foods (based in Co. Wexford), Inisvale Lamb supplied by Irish Country Meats (based in Camolin, Co. Wexford) and Inismara Mackerel supplied by Keohane Seafoods in Co. Cork. Claire Moran, communications manager at Lidl Ireland commented, "The Secret Garden was the perfect way for people try our quality food with an open mind. We wanted to show people that good quality Irish produce doesn't have to cost the earth." The Lidl Secret Garden generated a total of €12,000 from lunch and dinner bookings. This figure is being matched by Lidl and all €24,000 will be donated to Lidl's charity partner, Barretstown.

Did you know… The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) served five Closure Orders on food business in April for breaches in food safety legislation? Amongst the closures were Dublin-based Damson Diner on South William Street and Rice Asian Cuisine from Ardee in Louth under the FSAI Act, 1998. Mo’s Kitchen in Barntown, Wexford was also served with this closure order. Another two closure orders this time under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 were served to Dublin businesses PAK National food distribution centre and Red Parrot ground floor kitchen. In addition one Prohibition Order was served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 to Gallagher Meats, Ballymote, Sligo. The Health Service Executive also carried out a successful prosecution against Dynasty restaurant in Ballymun Dublin. Prof. Alan Reilly, Chief Executive of the FSAI, urged business owners to be more vigilant in their standards. “The legal onus is on food businesses to be responsible and ensure that the food they serve is safe to eat in accordance with the legislation. Of particular disappointment is the ongoing number of cases involving improper storage of foodstuffs and poor cleaning and sanitising. These breaches are completely avoidable when food businesses have proper food safety management systems in place.” 

Did you know… Milk imports have nearly doubled in the last year in Ireland? Central Statistics Office (CSO) for January and February 2014 showed that over 90.3 million litres of milk were imported in this period, which is a huge increase on 2013 figures for the same period, of 52.5 million. The majority of imports come from Northern Ireland, accounting for 81 million litres in January and February. Imports from mainland UK account for 9.28 million litres, up from 4.26 million litres for the same period in 2013. The increase of milk imports this year comes despite dairy farmers facing large 'super levy' fines. Preliminary figures from the Department of Agriculture showed that the country was 0.94% or around 55 million litres over quota for 2013/14. Super levy fines could amount to as much as €15 million for Irish farmers. 

Did you know… The National Council of Spar Retailers (NCSR) has a new appointee? Noel McIntyre of McIntyre’s Spar, Dublin Road, Mullingar, has been appointed to the council, which consists of a group of 12 store owners from across Ireland, representing 361 independent local retailers. The council meets regularly with the management of BWG Foods, owners and operators of the Spar and Spar Express brands in Ireland. McIntyre told the Westmeath Examiner that it was a real honour to be appointed to the NCSR.  He said, “By working closely with BWG Foods management I hope to make the shopping experience even better for my local customers, as well as Spar and Spar Express customers across Ireland. Being part of Ireland’s leading local retail group brings great benefits to our customers, staff and my business, and I’m proud to be able to share my experience with my fellow SPAR and SPAR Express retailers.” NCSR Council members serve for two years.

Did you know… Armagh Bramley Apple growers in Northern Ireland have developed a new marketing identity? The growers have also developed a campaign to enable them to maximise the business benefits of EU Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status, which protects unique food products. A new logo has been created to showcase the apples as part of a marketing drive to boost sales to consumers and foodservice operations throughout the UK and Ireland. The apples gained PGI status in March 2012. Hamilton Loney, chairman of the Northern Ireland Fruit Growers Association, says: “Our product always was unique, but now is recognised as such by the EU meaning that only growers in county Armagh can market apples as Armagh Bramleys." The marketing drive comes as the EU has increased funding available for the global marketing of foods with PGI status.

Did you know… 48% of businesses have experienced an increase in crime? According to the SFA 9th National Business Crime Survey, conducted by the Small Firms Association, 38% of businesses have been victims of crime in the past two years and 49% were victims on three or more occasions. SFA assistant director, Avine McNally said, “The business community is under constant attack from planned professional criminality. There is an enormous psychological price being paid by business people as crime is now more organised, more professional, more ruthless and more pervasive.” The capital expenditure by respondents on security measures average €6,049 per company or a total investment of €1.20 billion per annum for all small businesses with 38% of firms viewing their spend on security products as good value for money. In addition, the average cost per company of maintenance for security equipment averages €1,300 per annum, or €260 million annually. McNally continued, “A large part of the cost burden falls on retailers, who are especially vulnerable to crime and find themselves spending large sums of money on security measures they can ill afford. The use of intruder alarms remains the most common security system with nearly 84% of firms having a system in place.” The survey indicates that as crime becomes more sophisticated, firms are putting more complex security systems in place. The use of CCTV has increased to over 60%, while the number of electronic access control systems have risen to nearly 48%.

Did you know… Minister for Communications Pat Rabitte has called on the government to cut taxes? Rabitte said that people need some alleviation after years of tax rises and spending cuts. He told RTE's Morning Ireland that people had paid a huge price for the economic crash and that the dangerous conditions that prevailed when the coalition took office are no longer the same. Rabitte urged the government to ease the burden on household budgets saying,” Six years into this recession people are saying, ‘we’ve had enough.’” In particular, Rabitte felt that tax reliefs for those on “modest to middle incomes” should be up for addressing in the Budget 2015. He also said that tax reliefs would be “economically justiciable” and could stimulate the flat consumer market.

Did you know… Lidl has been granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for a store at East Wall, Dublin? The former Cahill Print Works site where Lidl hopes to build is opposite an existing Aldi store, which opened last summer. Lidl appealed the decision of Dublin City Council to reject its application regarding the sale of alcohol on the premises. The appeals board at An Bord Pleanála agreed that Lidl had “had demonstrated that the alcohol sales component of the proposed development would comply with Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017 policy in relation to the location of off-licence facilities” as well as agreeing to its car park arrangement. The planning permission allows Lidl to build a two blocked building totalling 6,258sq m (67,360sq ft) on a site of 0.9 hectares. 

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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