This Thursday, February 13th, marks the official end of the Superquinn brand, as signage and in-store branding is formally replaced by that of SuperValu in 24 stores nationwide.
Ahead of the brand changeover, Retail Intelligence paid a visit to the Superquinn Walkinstown store (the fourth Superquinn to open, back in 1972), to see how preparations are going ahead of the big changeover.
During 2013, the store, managed by James Brennan, underwent a €2.1 million overhaul, part of a €10 million investment last year by Musgrave Group in refurbishing and renovating then-Superquinn outlets. A further €20 million has been pledged for this year.
Sales at the Walkinstown store in 2012 were 4.6% down on the previous year, however since the revamp in July of last year, store sales are on average +7%. The store's revamped fruit & veg department has been a key driver of this. Brennan says that while Superquinn has always had a strong reputation in fruit & veg, "now we also have the clear price points that customers are demanding."
The store has a loyal customer base in Walkinstown, Drimnagh, Crumlin, Terenure and Templeogue, many of which have been shopping at the store for generations. Thus it is important to remind customers that the staff are the same as they have always been, particularly in fresh departments. Butchery sales are up 17% since the revamp.
The store has 102 staff, and around half a dozen of these have been recently recruited in order to cater for the additional custom in the store in the store. Some members of staff have several decades of experience - two of the bakers have been working in the store for 35 years each.
The revamped wine section, located where the dairy wall used to be situated prior to the refurbishment, includes selections from both the former Superquinn wine portfolio, and that of SuperValu. "It's the best of both worlds," says Brennan.
The store is planning a series of events from Thursday onwards, to generate interest in the rebranded outlet, including a 'Customer Evening' on Thursday night for loyal clientele. "It's an ideal way to get word of mouth about the new store," says Brennan.
Musgrave will formally announce the coming together of the two brands under the SuperValu name at a food and wine showcase in Dublin this Wednesday.
© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones