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RETAIL INTELLIGENCE: Weekly Round Up, October 30, 2013

By Publications Checkout
RETAIL INTELLIGENCE: Weekly Round Up, October 30, 2013

SuperValu is expecting its new Signature Tastes range, 80% of which is sourced from Irish suppliers, to generate sales of more than €20 million this year. Approximately €3 million has been spent on sourcing, development, packaging and marketing the new range (pictured). “The top end of the own brand market is growing because consumers want to enjoy great food at home, but at a good price," said Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu. "We have tested every single product versus the best equivalent and we believe we have developed a range that will excite and delight consumers. Additionally as we promised when we announced the Superquinn name change, we have amalgamated the best-selling products from the SuperValu and SQ top tier ranges into the SuperValu Signature Tastes collection.”

Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard has sought to clarify reports in the media that suggested it did not hold the rights to the Jameson brand in Uzbekistan. In a statement, a spokesperson for the drinks company told Retail Intelligence: "Following the recent trade mark office ruling in Uzbekistan surrounding the ownership of the trademark for Jameson Whiskey, Irish Distillers confirms that it does own the rights to the brand in that market. In advance of the court hearing, Legion Asia, who had previously registered Jameson as a trade name, had reached an agreement with Irish Distillers to transfer the rights of the trade name to Irish Distillers. Registration of those rights, through the Uzbek Intellectual Property Agency is underway. There is full agreement between Legion Asia and Irish Distillers around the ownership of Jameson."

Figures have shown that Ireland is topping the list of countries in the European Union for the level of non duty paid (NDP) tobacco being consumed. However Ireland is also the country with the highest price for legal tobacco products in the EU, raising concerns that consumers will buy counterfeit products when legitimate prices are high. The figures, based on the latest levels of NDP calculated for 2012 across Europe, show Ireland with a level of NDP of 28.2% along with the highest cigarette 20 pack price of €9.40. The NDP packs include both illegal cigarettes and packs bought abroad by Irish smokers. The UK is the next closest with a 20 pack selling for €9.29 and a NDP level of 21.5%. A spokesperson for the Irish Tobacco Manufacturers Advisory Committee said, “These figures really highlight the reasons why Ireland is so attractive to tobacco smugglers. Along with having a high retail price for legitimate tobacco products, criminals know that they can escape with a small fine in Ireland even if they are caught here.  It is fertile ground for international criminal gangs who smuggle tobacco." Outside the EU, Norway has a high NDP level of 45.5%, perhaps due to high cost of 20 pack cigarettes, at €10.91.  

Gift Voucher Shop's One4all has announced 35 new seasonal jobs to assist with sales of its gift vouchers, expected to spike during the festive period. The multi-store voucher card sales may undergo a seven-fold increase to cope with the demand in the final quarter. The company's sales team will double, as will its customer service team. Michael Dawson, group CEO at Gift Voucher Shop, said, “Christmas cheer is always welcome and our 5,300 retail partners are indicating signs of having a strong Christmas season.  Smart shoppers too are gearing up for the festivities and we’ve already started to see the early increases in purchases of Christmas gift cards by companies large and small right across Ireland.  One4all cards are a seriously smart, tax efficient way to reward employees and companies are increasingly switching on to the idea. ” The 35 new employees will cover full and part time roles in customer service, fulfilment, accounts and corporate sales.

RGDATA has called on the Finance Minister Michael Noonan to extend the reduced Employers PRSI rate for workers earning under €365 for a further 12 months. The representative association for 4,000 shops, supermarkets and convenience stores said the extension is needed to support and sustain employment in the sector at a particularly vulnerable time for employers. RGDATA director general Tara Buckly said, "Minister Noonan introduced a reduced 4.25% rate of Employers’ PRSI for low paid workers when he first announced the reduced VAT rate for the hospitality sector. RGDATA welcomes his announcement of an extension of the 9% VAT rate which also applies to newspapers. However we are deeply disappointed and concerned that he has not extended the lower Employers’ PRSI rate for another 12 months.” She said that the reduced Employers PRSI has enabled retailers to keep staff and create jobs, and without it, shops will struggle to stay open and pay their staff. "Now is not the time for new costs to be piled on employers operating in challenged sectors,” she said.


Tesco investor Warren Buffett has reduced his stake in the retailer by £300 million (€350 million). The billionaire cut his Berkshire Hathaway holdings in the British retailer from 4.98% to 3.98% by offloading derivatives that represented 80 million of the voting rights in the company. Buffett has held shares in Tesco since 2006, and it remains one of his biggest investments outside the US. Berkshire Hathaway announced a £690 million deal to purchase IMI's drink dispensing business, the same day that the shares were cut. This month Tesco reported a like-for-like sales drop across its 10 international businesses, including the UK, as half-year pre-tax profits fell by 24% to £1.39 billion.

NFRN Ireland has expressed concern over the announcement that Newspread is reviewing its carriage rates. Newspread wrote to its customers advising that new carriage charge rates would be implemented from December 1, 2013, but did not specify if they would go up or down. NFRN Ireland president Joe Sweeney highlighted the issues for retailers regarding the charges. "I do not accept that this complies with the Code of Practice for the Press Industry (COPPI) where clause 1.1 states: ‘Changes to a wholesaler’s Terms and Conditions of Business, including carriage/service charges, will be communicated to retailers in writing, giving not less than four weeks’ notice.’ Without telling retailers what the new rate will be, their letter does not provide proper notice." 

Cookie brand Oreo has launched its winning campaign from the JCDecaux/ Bravo 'Fame- The Agency Edition' competition. Running from 21st October to 4th November, the campaign will see the first Irish use of Draftfcb’s award winning global Oreo ‘Daily Twist’ creative which will be showcased in €150,000 worth of outdoor media space sponsored by CIÉ. Tony O’Flanagan, marketing director JCDecaux said “We worked closely with PHD and Oreo to deliver an innovative out of home campaign across multiple outdoor formats and environments, ensuring Oreo could engage with their target audience at key times in the customer journey”. Brand manager for Oreo, Jonathan Ryan said, "We were delighted to win 'Fame- The Agency Edition' and to showcase the personality of the Oreo brand using best in class outdoor media and a uniquely Dublin twist on the iconic Oreo creative." The competition was open to all media agencies operating in the Republic of Ireland and was aimed at clients who had not previously invested significantly in outdoor media.

Sales at Pernod Ricard fell in July to September this year, despite the ongoing growth of Jameson Irish whiskey. The drinks manufacturer, and owner of Irish Distillers attributed the poor performance to sales in China, where exchange rate fluctuations in emerging market currencies are a contributing factor. Full year growth is expected to be between 4% and 5%, which is less than the 6% achieved last year. Chief executive Pierre Pringuet said, "Our first quarter was adversely affected by the slowdown of emerging markets and unfavourable technical effects. However, we remain confident in the diversity of our portfolio and the strength of our distribution network." Pernod Ricard expects demand in China to improve in the second half of the financial year, ending June 2014. China is its second largest market after the US, accounting for 12% of sales. The group reported a strong performance in Germany, Britain and France, however Spain was hit by an increase in excise duty in July 2013 of 1%. Sales of Jameson continue to grow, and are up 13% in the last quarter.

Aryzta is set to acquire flatbread specialist Pitapan, in a bid to expand its US operations. It would be Aryzta's first efforts to access the flatbread market in the US, where Pitapan employs about 100 people and recently built a 100,000 sq ft facility to triple its production capacity. Goodbody Stockbrokers’ food analyst, Liam Igoe told the Irish Examiner, “The acquisition, if confirmed, would be consistent with Aryzta’s strategy of in-filling required new capacity through acquisition in some instances rather than building from scratch. The key advantage is that new production can be brought on stream quicker.” He estimated that the acquisition price could be over $50 million (€37m). Aryzta acquired UK bread maker Honeytop for £80 million (€94.2 Million) two years ago.


Commercial property consultants CBRE have revealed that Irish Commercial Property shows a value index for the first time in six years. The figures come from the latest Irish Commercial Property Index from the Investment Property Databank (IPD) which showed the rise during the third quarter of 2013. Marie Hunt, head of research at CBRE commented on the results, “Following on from what our research has been showing for some time now, property values in the Irish IPD index, which tracks the performance of institutionally owned real estate in the Irish market, has recorded an increase in both total returns and capital values in the most recent quarter." According to CBRE, over €1.065 billion was invested in investment property in the Irish market during the first nine months of 2013, with more than two thirds of this investment emanating from non-Irish buyers. CBRE believe that the total spend for 2013 (excluding loan sales) will exceed €1.5 billion.

© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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