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Retail Intelligence

Weekly Round Up, October 21, 2014

By Publications Checkout
Weekly Round Up, October 21, 2014

Aldi has opened its 112th Irish store at Glanmire in Co. Cork, employing twenty staff at the new outlet. Aldi opened its first supermarket here in 1999. The latest data from Kantar Worldpanel shows Aldi has increased its market share of the Irish supermarket sector to 8.3%, making it the fastest growing supermarket here since the middle of 2008. Meanwhile, the discounter’s profits in Ireland and the UK have continued to experience exponential growth, with profits increasing last year by 65% to €327.2 million (£260.89m).

Musgrave Group has reportedly severed ties with approximately 200 Londis outlets in the UK, that were seen to be underperforming. According to the Sunday Times, the stores include loss-making outlets, stores that didn’t meet group guidelines for appearance and stores that did not purchase enough from Musgrave Wholesale. The group had previously said in May that it would write down its UK business by €131 million. However, 60 independent retailers have also joined Musgrave and the group has restructured with 80 job losses at head office including a number of senior executives. Musgrave said that it is continuing to "tighten up processes and control group costs."

Irish people are expected to spend around €41 million on Halloween products this year, according to a survey of over 1,500 people by Webloyalty. One in two people say the festival is as much for adults as for children, with 60% of people planning to spend up to €40 on Halloween purchases. Two thirds of people will spend up to €25 on their Halloween costumes, with discount retailers proving the most popular places to purchase one. Meanwhile, two thirds of people will buy chocolate, sweets and confectionery for Halloween, with one third of people planning to give out sweets to trick or treaters. The traditional barmbrack, monkey nuts and themed decorations for the home also remain firm favourites, while one in five people will also purchase a pumpkin. Managing Director of Northern Europe at Webloyalty, Guy Chiswick commented, “While spending per person is relatively modest, Halloween is still big business for Irish retailers. According to our research, 75% of Irish consumers take part in Halloween in some way and approximately €40 million was spent last year on everything from costumes to confectionery. This year, growing consumer interest means that spend is likely to be €41 million, growth of around 5.7%.”

The Irish Spirits Association has estimated that 90% of the spirits produced here are exported, with distribution to over 120 countries around the world. The key territories for Irish spirits include Canada, Russia, South Africa and other EU member states, with the US being a particularly strong territory, recording growth of over 20% in 2012. South America is highlighted as an emerging export territory for Irish spirits, while demand from India and China is expected to continue to increase. Euromonitor states that the majority of spirits consumed in Ireland are imported, although domestic whiskey brands remain especially strong, with Irish whiskey drinkers being both extremely loyal to their favourite brands and proudly supportive of local brands. IDL remains the primary spirits supplier in Ireland with a 31% volume share, according to Euromonitor’s Spirits in Ireland report.

SHS Sales & Marketing posted a profit after tax of £33.3k (€42k) for the year to end 3 January 2014, according to accounts filed at the UK Companies House. The group's performance was broadly in line with that of the previous year, when it posted an after-tax profit of £35.6k (€44.9k) Turnover at the sales and distribution firm, which distributes WKD, Shloer and Cricket lighters, across the island of Ireland, stood at £20.84 million, down slightly from the previous year (2013: £23.52 million), while distribution costs were also lower, at £961k (2013: £1.09 million). In their report, directors for the company said that "both the results for the period and the prospects for the future are satisfactory."

Diageo has reported a fall in its global sales of 1.5% for the first quarter of the year. This drop comes on the back of currency devaluations and weakened demand in China, as well as low sales in Russia and Eastern Europe due to the Ukraine crisis. Although sales remained stable in Africa and climbed 0.1% in the North American market, demand in Asia-Pacific; Europe and Latin America fell. The most significant drop (7.4%) occurred in the Asia-Pacific market. Net sales in China fell 20% over the past three months, following a government-enforced crack down. Diageo Chief Executive Ivan Menezes commented on the figures in the company’s interim management statement, that despite a dip in sales in Q1, an increase in sales over the course of the year was expected. Furthermore, there was a 10% lift in the firms’ reserve brands, and a slight increase in its North American business.

ECR Ireland has announced the appointment of Geraldine Finnegan of Boyne Valley Foods as the new supplier co-chair of the ECR Ireland Category Management & Shopper Marketing Workgroup.  Finnegan replaces Linda Williams of Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, who has completed her three year tenure in the role. Along with retailer co-chair, Barry Carty (BWG Foods), Finnegan will assist ECR with its strategy, planning and event scheduling for the CatMan & Shopper Marketing Workgroup. The group's next major event takes place at the Clyde Court Hotel in Ballsbridge on November 11th, entitled: 'Influence the Shopper – Online & Instore'.  Full details are available at 

Diageo World Class, the drinks industry’s most prestigious mixology competition, has returned to Ireland for 2014-2015. A series of qualifiers and heats will take place over the year, as bartenders across the country compete to become Ireland’s Best Bartender, and represent the island in the 2015 World Class Global Final in South Africa. The competition is a celebration of contemporary cocktail culture, bringing together the best bars, the most iconic bartenders and the most exquisite spirits from around the globe. It will showcase the Diageo luxury spirits portfolio, including Ketel One, Cîroc, Zacapa,Tanqueray, Bulleit and Johnnie Walker. The World Class ‘Fundamentals of Flavours’ event took place in the Liquor Rooms, Dublin last week.

The Avalon Group has unveiled three new spirits as part of The Wild Geese Irish whiskey collection, to include Irish Honey Liqueur, Untamed Irish Vodka and The Exiles Irish Gin. The new spirits were launched at the thirtieth annual Duty Free & Travel Retail Global Summit in Cannes, France. They are made using authentic Irish ingredients and each carry distinctive Irish themes. Although they new spirits are premium products, they are set to retail at competitive prices and will give the premium Irish spirits category a depth and breadth that has thus far been limited to just whiskey and Irish Cream. Exiles Irish Gin, Irish Honey Liqueur and the Untamed Irish Vodka are the first and only super-premium products of their kind to be produced in Ireland.

Bia Food Initiative, a non-profit organisation, have opened the Republic’s first food surplus redistribution hub in Cork, as it seeks to reduce retailer food waste. At 10,000 square feet, the centre takes excess product from Tesco, Aldi, Musgrave and Kelloggs, as well as several local producers, and then redistributes the food to a network of local charities in Cork, Limerick and Kerry. Bia Chairman, Jack Dunphy said: “The industry in the past would have said, unless you can take a full container load, which is typically the volume they have from a production glitch, we’re not interested in breaking that down into smaller units for you. […] We will be the intermediary between the industry, its surpluses, and the recipient charities, and we will store and give it to the charities as they need it.” Dunphy added that there are plans to establish a similar operation in Leinster as early as next year, as well as a depot in Galway by the end of 2015.

Tesco Group has asked a further three employees to step down from their jobs as its investigation into a £250 million profit overstatement continues. The latest suspensions take the total number of suspended employees to eight. A spokesperson for the firm told Reuters: “We have asked three employees to step aside to facilitate the investigation into the potential overstatement of profits in UK food for the first half of the year.” The identities of the three were not disclosed. The first five suspended UK finace executives have been named by those familiar with the situation as UK Managing Director Chris Bush, UK Finance Director Carl Rogberg, Commercial Director John Scouler, Food Sourcing Director Matt Simister and Group Commercial Director Kevin Grace. The Financial Conduct Authority is also said to be investigating Tesco.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson and Emily Horne.

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