Retail Intelligence

Weekly Roundup... 09 December, 2020

By Maev Martin
Weekly Roundup... 09 December, 2020

Londis has announced that LauraLynn Ireland’s Children’s Hospice will be its new national charity partner for the next two years, vowing to help the Children’s Hospice fulfil their mission to provide essential personalised care to children with palliative care needs. LauraLynn is the only specialist hospice in Ireland to care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. The children’s hospice provides palliative and end-of-life care to children with life-limiting conditions and gives respite and support to their families – at the hospice, in the community and in their own homes. The hospice also provides psychological support and counselling, residential family camps, a bereavement programme, music therapies and holistic therapies to the families. Despite receiving only limited government funding to date, all of the palliative, support, transitional, crisis and respite care provided to the children and their families by LauraLynn is free of charge. The charity relies primarily on donations from the public.

Willie O’Byrne, managing director of retail and wholesale group BWG Foods, has won the Leader Award at the 2020 Logistics & Transport Awards. The awards recently took place as a live digital and fully interactive broadcast. O’Byrne represents the first winner of the Logistics and Transport Leader Award from a grocery retail, FMCG or wholesale company. Previous winners of the award include Pamela Quinn, managing director of Kuehne + Nagel and John Tuohy, founder of Nightline. Commenting on the award win, O’Byrne said: “I would like to thank the Irish Logistics and Transport Association for this great honour."I accept it only on behalf of the teams I have been a part of, or led, over the years. This is their recognition; none more deserving than our exceptional Logistics and Transport professionals in BWG Foods to whom I dedicate this award." BWG Foods operates one of the country’s largest logistics operations that serve its network of over 1,000 Spar, Eurospar, Mace, Londis, and XL stores. The group also serves 14,000 B2B customers through its wholesale division that includes BWG Foodservice, Corrib Food Products, Heaney Meats and a nationwide network of 22 Value Centre and Cash and Carry branches. As part of its nationwide logistics operation, BWG Foods operates a 240,000 square foot National Distribution Centre situated in Kilcarbery in County Dublin, with one of the largest delivery fleets in the country that extends to approximately 120 vehicles. "I am personally extremely proud of the commitment our logistics team has shown over the past nine months in meeting the demands of our retail partners and wholesale customers while overcoming the myriad of operational and personal challenges wrought by this pandemic,” O’Byrne added. 

Wendy Reidy, a regular customer at Eurospar Skerries, was celebrating an early Christmas present when she won the raffle for a brand new Renault Zoe Electric Car on Saturday. The prize, sponsored by Electric Ireland, was won by EUROSPAR Retailer Shane Bowe at the annual BWG Foods’ Trade Show this year. The BWG Foods’ Trade Show is the largest food industry event of its kind in Ireland and annually brings together more than 200 of Ireland’s leading indigenous and multinational suppliers showcasing key offers to more than 1,000 retailers over the two-day event. Shane and Eurospar Skerries had been selling €10 raffle tickets for the last number of weeks and presented the final proceeds of €13,000 to St Michael’s House on Saturday. Shane said, “We have had a really positive reaction and support for our business and for this wonderful cause over the last few months. I am overwhelmed with the amount raised and was thrilled to hand the donation over to St Michael’s House. What made the raffle that bit extra special was that the winner, Wendy, is a regular customer and is local to the community.” Commenting, Eurospar managing director Malachy Hanberry said, “I would like to thank Electric Ireland for providing the 100% electric Renault Zoe to Eurospar Skerries, we really appreciate their support. It was great that Shane was able to raise funds for St Michael’s House, Special National School Skerries. Eurospar supermarkets have a tradition of giving back to the communities they serve and this is a magnificent example of that.”

Tesco Ireland has announced that it will extend the opening hours across 40 of its large stores during Christmas week. Select Tesco extra and superstores will open from 7 am Monday 21 December on a rolling 24-hour basis, the retailer said. More general extended store openings across the entire 151 store portfolio will be in place from Friday 18 December, as follows:

  • Monday 14 – Thursday 17 December normal store hours – 7 or 8 am until 10 or 11 pm
  • From Friday 18 December, extended hours in the majority of stores 7 am – midnight; with over 40 stores opening for rolling 24 hours from 6 am Monday 21 until 7 pm Christmas Eve, Thursday 24 December.

Tesco said that all stores will close at 7 pm latest on Christmas Eve to support colleagues to return home to their families in time for Santa’s arrival. In the weeks leading to Christmas until Friday 18 December, Tesco said that it will continue to support customers who are over 65, family carers, and those who are extremely medically vulnerable with dedicated access to stores pre-9am Monday to Friday. Kari Daniels, CEO, Tesco Ireland, commented: “The safety of colleagues and customers remains our number one priority and we continue to make changes within our stores as we prepare for the Christmas trading period. We hope that these extended hours, up to 24 hours in 40 of our larger stores during Christmas week, will help make the shopping trip easier for our customers," she added.


Italian pasta producer De Cecco is investing €70 million over the next five years in the expansion of its production facilities. According to the company’s 2021-2025 investment plan, published by Il Messaggero, production levels should reach 2.5 million quintals of pasta and 500,000 quintals of other products such as oil, ready-made sauces and bread substitutes, reports One quintal is equal to 100 kilograms. De Cecco previously announced the expansion of its production capacity in 2013, with the opening of two new production lines at its factory in Caldari di Ortona near Chieti. The new investments will be financed by loans from both Italian and European banks.

German exports rose less than expected in October but foreign trade still gave Europe's largest economy a boost at the start of the fourth quarter as it struggles to avoid slipping into a double-dip contraction. Seasonally adjusted exports rose 0.8% on the month after an increase of 2.3% in September, the Federal Statistics Office said on Wednesday. Imports rose 0.3% after an upward revision in the prior month's figure to an increase of 0.2%. The trade surplus expanded to €18.2 billion ($22.07 billion). Economists polled by Reuters had expected exports to rise by 1.2% and imports to increase by 1.0%. The trade surplus was predicted to come in at €18.0 billion. "Despite the October slowing, the export sector remains one of the few hopes of the German economy to avoid a significant contraction in the fourth quarter," said ING economist Carsten Brzeski. "The longer-term outlook, however, remains very mixed, illustrating that the sector will not easily return to its former strength," he added.

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