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Retail Intelligence

Weekly Round Up, November 5, 2013

By Publications Checkout
Weekly Round Up, November 5, 2013

Musgrave has announced a partnership with WH Smith, under which it will open branded fixtures in several WH Smith sites around the UK. Nine outlets of the newsagent chain will feature fixtures branded under either the Budgens or Londis fascias, which will feature a range of convenience foods in some stores, and chilled ready meals in others. Trial sites have already opened in Leeds Bradford, Bristol, East Midlands and Heathrow airports, as well as Guildford railway station and West Middlesex and Southampton hospitals. Donal Horgan, Managing Director of Budgens and Londis said "the trial with WH Smith seeks to capitalise on the capacity we have within our supply chain."

Property experts CBRE have issued a positive outlook for the retail sector, saying that many units being vacated by other retailers in high footfall areas are being re-let to new occupiers, which it described as "encouraging". In its Bi-Monthly Research Report, CBRE said that applications for extensions to The Square in Tallaght and Northside Shopping Centre in Coolock are an indication that the "several years of no new retail provision" may be coming to an end. It added that "there has been a definite increase in demand for café and restaurant uses throughout the country over recent months", while "several short term transactions have been completed to enable seasonal pop up shops to trade over the Christmas period."

Ireland's first cash based app, Reep Rewards has been launched, allowing consumers to earn cash based on their loyalty to its partner brands. Consumers take a photo of their receipts using the app, which reads the receipt and allocates a cash reward to the user account based on the products bought. According to the company, using the app could deliver an annual cash reward of up to €750 for Irish families. Kelloggs, Brennan's and Heinz are partners in the programme so far. James Lenehan, CEO of Reep Rewards says, "Reep Rewards is an Irish-owned, Irish developed platform that has taken over two years to develop and we are really excited about launching in Ireland first. Our research shows that more than half (51%) of Irish consumers use loyalty cards more than once a week." The company already employs ten people and hopes to increase numbers to 20 staff over the next 12 months, with recruitment to begin before Christmas.

Mace has launched a new three-year TV ad campaign, 'Going the extra smile'. The campaign represents a €1.5m investment. Willie O’Byrne, Managing Director at BWG Foods (owners and operators of the MACE brand in Ireland) said, “As the longest established convenience store in Ireland we were keen to highlight one of the most important aspects of our business, customer service, as this is the cornerstone of everything we do." The new campaign will also include on-line activity, in-store POS materials and product promotions. Mace is currently celebrating over 50 years trading in Ireland, with over 230 stores around the country.

The Teeling Whiskey Company has released a new bottling of Single Grain Irish Whiskey, one of only a handful of such expressions in the world. Single Grain bottlings are rare as it is typically blended with heavier styles of Irish whiskey to create many of the well-known brands on the market today. Jack Teeling, founder of the Teeling Whiskey Company, commented, "It’s a little known fact that the majority of Irish whiskey sold is actually Grain whiskey so we feel it is interesting to have expressions of Single Grain whiskey in its own right. Our new Teeling Single Grain is representative of our aim to help drive the expansion of the Irish whiskey category through unique bottlings and expressions.” The Teeling Whiskey Company was founded by Jack Teeling in 2012, and has won multiple awards since then.


Keelings Ireland welcomed a visit from the Vice Premier of China, Ma Kai, with a delegation of 20 Chinese Officials to its headquarters at St. Margarets, North County Dublin last week. The visit is due to Keelings recent expansion into China with their software solution, Keelings Solutions. Mr. Ma Kai is responsible for China's economic policy and investment, and was visiting Ireland because of the strong trading relationship build up between Ireland and China over the past few years, and to see the latest developments in the fields of bioprocessing, food and digital technology. Eamonn Flynn, managing director of Keelings Solutions, said "We're honoured to have Vice Premier, Ma Kai visit Keelings to see our ERP system in action. This year has seen significant growth for the Keelings Solutions division. We went to Paris with the Chinese provincial government to sign a second Asian client for us who controls the Flower Auction market in China. Also, closer to home, we've been selected by a second European client to implement our ERP system." 

Brown Thomas has commenced listing Derry rapeseed oil brand, Broighter Gold. The oil producer will supply its full range of four rapeseed oils to the Dublin department store. Leona Kane, Broighter Gold managing director said, "We are now the market leader in rapeseed oil in Northern Ireland, and this endorsement by Brown Thomas in the company’s flagship store will be immensely important as we seek to replicate our success in the North in the Republic, now our most important market outside Northern Ireland." Broighter Gold will run sampling sessions in the store with its lemon and chilli variants, as well as its regular oil. The company was formed in 2011 as part of a farm diversification project and the oils have since won at the UK Great taste Awards.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD has welcomed the news that the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health is changing its regulations that restricted the importation of beef from the EU due to BSE a decade ago. Minister Coveney said, "The decision provides an opportunity for Ireland to penetrate a sector of the US beef market which can reward top quality, sustainably produced beef." He said that the new regulations are a critical first step and his officials will continue to engage with the USDA and Irish producers to finalise the various technical requirements to ensure commencement of the trade at the earliest possible date. “I am confident that this market will grow strongly as US consumers realise the superior quality of Irish grass-fed beef and the Irish meat industry, and Bord Bia are well placed to develop this niche market to US consumers in the near future." The US banned the importation of EU beef in 1997 following the BSE outbreak. 

Supervalu has announced an agreement with Dublin based grower Uniplumo worth over €500,000. Uniplumo are to produce poinsettias for the retailer for the Christmas season once again. As a result, SuperValu will only stock 100% Bord Bia quality assured Irish grown poinsettias, which will retail at €3. Uniplumo has supplied the retailer for 17 years, and has increased the number of poinsettias grown by 30% in the past two years to meet demand. Uniplumo operate from six acres of heated glass houses near Swords, County Dublin. The company employs over 40 staff. Martin Kelleher, managing director, SuperValu, said, “We believe in local and continue to demonstrate our support of local producers and local suppliers. Our commercial relationship with Uniplumo is another example of our partnership approach with Irish companies where we have been able to work together to grow and develop the business. Poinsettias are extremely popular with our shoppers for Christmas, so we are delighted to once again provide a home grown Irish plant."

© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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