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Did You Know? April 29, 2014

By Publications Checkout
Did You Know? April 29, 2014

Did you know… Heineken Ireland has appointed a new Head of Innovation? Fiona Curtin, a marketing specialist, has moved from her previous role as global marketing manager of innovation at Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard. Curtin was also previously a president of the Association of Advertisers in Ireland. Curtin worked as a senior brand manager for Murphy’s and Coors as well as Heineken between 1991 and 2003 as a regional marketing manager. In addition, Curtin worked as head of advertising, marketing & communications in AIB where she spent nearly six years, amassing a wealth of experience. 

Did you know… a former Dunnes Stores worker, Karen Deegan has been awarded €8,000 by the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT)? Deegan was dismissed for taking food from the deli counter in Knocknamarra, Galway, without paying for it. Deegan worked at the Dunnes for four years until October 2011 and was one out of nine to lose their jobs for taking food from the deli. EAT criticised Dunnes for spying on staff after its head of security installed two CCTV cameras in the store’s deli counter saying the retailer “fell short of acceptable practice”. The tribunal heard that staff were not aware that the cameras had been installed. John Douglas, general secretary of Mandate which represents 6,000 employees at Dunnes Stores, said, "Dunnes Stores has very serious questions to answer on its behaviour of installing cameras to place its workers on constant surveillance without them knowing about it." The tribunal found that Deegan was unfairly dismissed but acknowledged that she contributed to two-thirds of her dismissal. 

Did you know… Lidl has released its plans to expand into the US market by 2018, and hopes to complete its market research by the end of this year? Despite being ahead of schedule Lidl CEO Klaus Gehrig said that stores would not open across the Atlantic before the year 2018. The discounter’s international investment plans are worth €4.4 billion according to Gehrig, which includes the US venture that is “in full swing”, and a vast redevelopment of current stores across Europe to increase floor space. Schwarz Group, Lidl’s parent company recently reported a 10% increase in annual net sales to €74 billion in 2013, of which €54 billion was recorded by Lidl.

Did you know… Keogh’s Crisps has agreed a deal with Tesco that will see the family-owned potato crisp brand go on sale in 25 Tesco stores in the UK next year? Tom Keogh, managing director of Keoghs expressed his delight for the new deal that he called “a potentially massive opportunity for the business.” According to Keogh, the deal “has the potential to allow us to double our turnover in the UK quickly and opens up the chance to try additional markets in Europe where we don't currently stock our products." Keoghs Crisps, which employs 40 people in Oldtown, Co. Dublin, worked with Tesco for a St. Patrick’s Day seasonal slot with its shamrock-themed crisps. The new deal is part of Bord Bia’s programme that it is running with Tesco to boost supplier development.

Did you know… many international retailers are planning investments in prime locations in Cork City Centre? Property consultants Savills, the company that is managing the sale and letting of many properties on Patrick Street in Cork are hopeful that a number of retailer will invest in the location this year. Peter O’Meara, director at Savills Cork said, "Stabilisation has returned to the retail sector in Ireland and there is now a slow but steady improvement in trading conditions. This has not gone unnoticed - a number of international retailers have expressed an interest in several high-end retail units in the city centre and we expect to see a commitment from a number of them in the coming months.” He went on to suggest that a great number of the street’s many vacant units are a result of expired leases and that retailers could exploit this as an opportunity to agree to favourable lease terms. "The current rate of vacancies would be a concern if there was nobody interested in taking the space. But with flexible leases now on offer, we are seeing top international brands showing a strong interest in what Cork has to offer, which is a huge opportunity to attract new, high level brands to the City."


Did you know… The Health Services Executive (HSE) announced last week that the sale and use of electronic cigarettes will be banned from all its facilities including hospitals from May 1? The decision was made after HSE carried out a thorough review of the devices’ safety and health effects. The currently unregulated battery powered e-cigarettes deliver nicotine through smokeless vapour. HSE explained that it cannot recommend the safe use of the products because the longterm effects are unclear and there is “no conclusive evidence that they actually help people quit smoking. Dr Stephanie O’Keefe, director of health and wellbeing, HSE said, “While we will keep this evidence under ongoing review, the e-cigarettes ban is being introduced as e-cigarettes pose a challenge to smoke-free campus enforcement and come with safety concerns for a healthcare environment.” Last year MEPs rejected proposals to classify e-cigarettes as medicinal products. Minister of Health James Reilly said recently he would like to see them introduced on a “purely medicinal basis.”

Did you know… Lakeland Dairies has launched a new “milk stick” product? The Dairy co-op believes that the sticks will replace the bulky pods currently used to store long-life UHT milk on flight, trains and other places where fresh milk is unavailable. The product, which the Cavan-based company claims is the only one of its kind, is similar in appearance to sugar sachets making them easy to store. They have been on the market only five weeks but already have been bought in bulk by Ryanair and have reportedly gained interest from McDonalds. Recently Lakeland Dairies invested €5 million into new facilities at its Killeshandra plant, where it produced 700 million litres of milk last year, to make the new product. Lakeland Dairies also revealed its annual results from 2013 reporting a record operating profit (€11.7million) on revenues that increased 15% to €546 million as well as a record amount paid to suppliers. Conscious that long life UHT milk is popular in China the company’s chief executive Michael Hanley told the Irish Independent, “All our customers are looking for few products, particularly those that suit tastes in developing markets. Europe is challenged, but there’s a big world outside of Europe." 

Did you know… Lidl has the most fans of any grocery retail brand on its Facebook pages? The German discounter has gained 10 million fans for its EU pages and 370,000 for its Irish page. Set up in 2010, the Lidl Ireland Facebook page is the third largest brand page in the country. Aoife Clarke, head of communications, Lidl Ireland said, "We would like to say ‘thanks a million' to our 10 million fans across Europe, particularly to those who have joined the Lidl Ireland Facebook community over the past four years. Ireland was the first Lidl office to set up a Facebook page and over the past four years we have used the page as a platform to engage with our customers. From special offers, to competitions, to gossip, to reviews and career opportunities, we have something for everyone. We also have plenty of new initiatives coming up during the year." Lidl Ireland’s Facebook page has won five awards to date including two Digital Media Awards, two Bord Gais Social Media Awards and a Fresh Award. Lidl Ireland's social media channels also include Twitter and YouTube with over 30,000 followers and over 650,000 views respectively. 

Did you know… Tesco Ireland workers are due to get a 2% pay rise? Over 14,000 employees of the supermarket chain that are members of Mandate Trade Union are due to get the pay increase which will be between €400 and €700 extra a year. Trade union members at 147 stores voted by a margin of 88% in favour of the pay rise. Gerry Light of Mandate Trade Union said, “This is a very significant agreement coming from the biggest retail employer in the country and we very much see it as a benchmark for other retail employers in Ireland.” Light applauded Tesco for recognising the hard work of the employees and despite “facing many challenges in the marketplace, Tesco still see the value in giving their workers a pay increase and this is something other employers should take note of.”

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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