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Retail Intelligence

Weekly Round Up, August 19, 2014

By Publications Checkout
Weekly Round Up, August 19, 2014

Tesco has been refused planning permission for a superstore in Galway. The proposed 8,510sq m retail structure, located on, the Seamus Quirke and Rahoon Roads was refused by An Bord Pleanála on the basis that its “excessive bulk, scale and mass” would damage trade in the city centre and be visually harmful to the local area. There were many objections to the structure from local residents committees due to the rezoning of the land to facilitate the possibility of the development. City Hall initially granted permission for the new retail development application in July 2013. Opponents to the development appealed to An Bord Pleanála who said that the proposed development “by reason of its nature and excessive scale” would conflict with the zoning objective for the site, to provide retail centres “of a type and of a scale appropriate to the function and character of the area”, and as such it would be “contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

RGDATA has written a second letter to Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), seeking assurances that the switchover to a new lottery system, which is due for introduction later this year, will not disrupt retail trade. RGDATA originally wrote to PLI in April, seeking clarification on this matter, however in the second letter, written this month, RGDATA director general said that PLI, which will operate the National Lottery franchise, was yet to directly address the group's concerns. RGDATA is concerned that the development of a new online channel for the lottery will cannibalise in-store sales, as well as that the installation of new terminals could lead to additional charges being placed on retailers.

The European Food Law Association (EFLA) is hosting its 20th Bi-annual Congress entitled, 'Science and the Enforcement of Food Law'. The two-day master session on science and the enforcement of food law, will be held on September 25-26 in Dublin. The seminar will focus on key areas of food law enforcement through different Member States' perspectives. Vicente Rodriguez Fuentes, the President of EFLA said, "EFLA Congresses are an extraordinary opportunity to interchange ideas and experiences with highly qualified food law professionals from all over the world." Speakers from national authorities, the European Commission, food lawyers, leading academics and the industry will discuss topics such as public enforcement, origin labeling, health claims, etc. To register or for further information on the conference, visit: 

Irish food and drink companies took home multiple awards at the Great Taste Awards in London last week. Aldi Ireland picked up 36 awards, more than any other retailer, while SuperValu won 29 awards for its ‘Signature Tastes’ range. Bewleys, Kerry Foods and Dawn Meats were also amongst the winners at the awards. Overall, 405 judges including leading retail buyers, chefs and food writers were involved in the seven-week judging process that involved 10,000 individual products from the UK and Republic of Ireland. In addition, Northern Irish food and drink companies have broken all previous records in this year’s Great Taste Awards, taking home 371 Gold Stars across 101 NI companies.

Niamh Lynch, the former fresh food director at Tesco Ireland, has been named global commercial director at Tesco Group, following the recent departure of Alasdair James to US retailer Kmart. “We’re pleased Niamh has taken up the position of global business unit director,” a Tesco spokeswoman told The Grocer magazine. “Niamh has significant experience, having previously been fresh food category director for Tesco Ireland.” Waterford native Lynch also previously held the role of commercial business manager with Tesco, as well as a national account manager with Unilever.


Alcohol sales grew by 3.3% for the 12 weeks ending July 20 in multiples, compared with the same time last year, according to Kantar Worldpanel data. Growth in value sales h has been attributed to the increased prices of alcohol this year, however volumes per buyer remained steady, with shoppers spending 3% more each trip than they did last year. However, the number of Irish shoppers buying alcohol was seen to fall by 6,000 in comparison with the same period last year, which brought the sector down to 69% penetration. Shopper frequency stayed flat as shoppers bought alcohol an average of 11 times over 12 weeks. Beer and wine sale though, were up year-on-year and there was a peak in sales for beer in July/August 2013 and again in 2014.

Plans for an Aldi store in Bailieborough, County Cavan were refused by An Bord Pleanála last week. Cavan County Council had originally granted permission for the 1500 sq m store on the R165 in March, however traders and residents objected to the decision and appealed the case to An Bord Pleanála. The Bord refused the planning permit on the grounds that the store would not be in accordance by Cavan’s County Development Plan 2014-2020. They said there wasn’t enough evidence that the Aldi building wouldn’t negatively impact on the viability of the town centre and nearby centres, as well as not complying with the sequential approach to site selection as laid out in the Retail Planning Guidelines for Planning Authorities issued by the Department of the Environment in 2012. Aldi has eight weeks to challenge the decision.

More than half the pork products sold in Irish butchers shops is not sourced from Ireland, according to a survey by the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) and IdentiGEN. Of eleven shops and 120 pork products surveyed, 51% were DNA tested as having been imported. The IFA said that none of the shops surveyed around the country displayed any country-of-origin labelling for their pork. Pat O’Flaherty, IFA chairman said, "The IFA introduced the DNA-certified pigmeat traceability programme to identify imported pigmeat and stop consumers being misled about the origin of pigmeat products." He said that the level of imported product identified by the DNA testing is compounded by the fact that the country of origin was not displayed in any of the butchers stores audited. "Over 80% of the locations are part of the Certified Craft Butchers Programme, yet none carried country-of-origin labelling". The IFA said they are calling on everyone that is conscious of buying Irish to ensure that the supply chain is transparent. A fresh round of testing in butcher's shops will commence next month.

Tesco has banned the sale of beef from cows born in the Republic of Ireland and fattened in Northern Ireland, in an effort to avoid mixed-origin meat confusing its customers. Approximately 6,000 young cattle were exported north for fattening this year, compared to 40,000 a few years ago. The changes in trade regulations follows on from the horse meat scandal, which has put pressure on retailers to only sell beef that has one country of origin. Representatives of farmer groups have called on the Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, to intervene and persuade UK supermarkets to buy mixed-orgin beef again, however Tesco has said that while it will sell beef from either area, it will not sell beef from cattle raised in more than one area. Tesco group commercial director, Kevin Grace told the Irish Independent that Tesco’s research consistently tells them that customers want products that come from simple supply chains that are “easy for them to understand”, and are “clearly labelled”.

Shortcross Gin, the recently launched Northern Irish small batch gin, has been named ‘Spirit of the Month’ at the prestigious Fortnum & Mason store in central London. Fortnum & Mason has become the first London stockist of the gin, produced by Rademon Estate Craft Distillery in Crossgar, County Down. David Boyd-Armstrong, managing director of the small distillery, says: "The business from Fortnum and Mason is a very exciting boost for the business and an immense endorsement of the quality and originality of our gin. It gives us a tremendous springboard for further business in what will be an extremely important marketplace for us." The business follows an introduction to the gin during a visit to Northern Ireland by buyers from Fortnum and Mason in June. Shortcross Gin is currently implementing plans to sell the gin outside Northern Ireland especially in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.


© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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