Checkout sits down with Thomas Morrison, Head of Retail & MarketPlace, Musgrave Wholesale Partners, to talk about how Daybreak is responding to consumer trends, tackling the cost-of living crisis, and keeping community at the core of the brand.
Cultivating strong relationships between the team at Musgrave and the Daybreak retailers is critical to commercial success,” says Thomas.
“We pride ourselves on these great relationships, and we are committed to providing an attentive and personalised service to all our retailers within the Daybreak family. Each Daybreak store has an experienced Business Development Manager (BDM) who works collaboratively with retailers to develop business plans and solutions tailored to their unique needs and goals. By providing hands-on practical support, we aim to help retailers increase their sales, reduce costs, and improve their overall profitability.”
Responding To Challenges
According to Thomas, the energy crisis, broader inflationary pressures, and staff recruitment challenges are three key areas where the Daybreak brand is committed to providing retailer support. “We are incredibly responsive to the challenges retailers are currently facing,” he says.
“Examples of the support that we offer retailers to cope with these challenges include sharing energy provider research and analysis,
with regular communication and webinars to assist stores in finding the right plan for their business. We also offer expert advice on best practices for efficient energy usage and avoiding unnecessary energy wastage.”
In addition to energy cost guidance, Daybreak also works with retailers to identify opportunities to reduce operational costs to help with inflationary challenges. This includes providing technology-led solutions to reduce labour costs. Examples include self- service checkout tills and digital SELs. Daybreak offers HR support services to retailers with access to specialist and up-to- date legislative advice.
The brand also has a training and recruitment platform that allows stores to cost- effectively train and upskill their team to keep staff engaged and encourage staff retention.
Value For Money
“At Musgrave, we are acutely aware of the cost-of-living crisis and how it is at the forefront of consumers' and retailers' minds,” says Thomas. “In this environment, it is more crucial than ever that we provide excellent value for money to both Daybreak retailers and consumers alike. A key advantage of being part
of the Daybreak family and partnering with Musgrave, Ireland's largest retail and food service wholesaler, is that you benefit from the Musgrave group buying power.
“This benefit includes year-round competitive pricing, along with a regular schedule of consumer offers that deliver excellent promotional value. Given the current economic climate, we have heavily invested in lowering prices to ensure that customers enjoy unbeatable value on the key lines that are important to their business. In terms of promotions, we have an extensive range of offers that are updated every four weeks, and we offer regular deep-cut WOW deals.”
Trends And Innovation
Food-to-go is a significant focus for Daybreak, and the brand is constantly reviewing its offering and store options. Daybreak made a significant change to its offer in 2018 when it launched a new store design and brand identity, introducing three exclusive brands: 9 Grams (coffee), Munch & Co (deli) and Lickety Split (ice cream). “Since then, we have continued to develop and evolve our offer,” says Thomas.
“This includes creating regular seasonal NPD for Munch & Co, Lickety Split and bakery, as well as introducing new beverage options (e.g. iced coffee, orange juice). These developments ensure that we keep things exciting and fresh for consumers. Variety is the spice of life, and we want to ensure that Daybreak shoppers can enjoy various flavours and food options in our stores. Whether it's a deli classic, such as a chicken fillet roll, or a seasonal salad inspired by Italian cuisine, we strive to provide consumers with choices that align with the latest flavours and food trends.”
Musgrave also prides itself on having its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest consumer trends due to a research-led approach to consumer insights. “We focus on listening to our customer's needs and monitoring cultural, behavioural, and retail trends,” he says.
“This research informs the Daybreak offer and ensures that shoppers’ needs and wants are always top of mind.”
Community & Supporting Irish
Community is at the core of the Daybreak brand, and Daybreak stores are at the heart of communities across Ireland. “We are proud to be Irish, and ever since Musgrave was founded in 1876, supporting local communities has been a major priority of our business,” says Thomas. “At Musgrave MarketPlace, we work with over 680 Irish suppliers and stock over 3,500 Irish products across our range. We also champion local and sustainable sourcing with, for instance, 100% of our fresh beef and lamb being Irish.”
In addition to supporting Irish suppliers, Daybreak also works with the Irish Heart Foundation to support Irish communities. The Irish Heart Foundation has been Daybreak's chosen charity partner since 2016, and since then, Daybreak has helped the charity provide much-needed support to communities across Ireland. For instance, their recent ‘Get a Move On!’ campaign put a spotlight on the importance of regular exercise and raised over €36k for the charity.
Onwards And Upwards
According to Thomas, the Daybreak brand has been growing “phenomenally” over the last 12 months, and Musgrave expect this to continue throughout 2023. During 2022, 41 new stores joined the Daybreak family. As well as new store openings, another primary focus for Daybreak is rolling out its ‘store of the future’ brand identity to existing Daybreak stores.
“Last year, there were 15 store revamps alone, and we are confident that we will keep this pace up for 2023,” he says.
“I am very pleased to say that these stores are performing exceptionally well and exceeding their business KPIs.”
Given this track record, continuing to recruit new stores and extend the new brand offer to existing retailers is a key focus for Daybreak over the next 12 months. In light of the current trading environment, the Daybreak team is also committed to supporting retailers to manage their costs and achieve greater efficiency in their business. “We are very confident about what the future holds,” says Thomas.
“The Daybreak model has proven itself to be highly successful and we will continue to support and drive retailer profitability into the future.”