Latest figures from research firm TNS show that since February, the group’s share of the Irish market has slipped from 8.5% to 8.3%. Chief executive Simon Burke shrugged off the finding, saying: “I’m much more interested in how we will be doing in a year’s time.”
The redevelopment will start in January with a €3m store makeover in the Dublin suburb of Blanchardstown, creating a new format and an additional 15% of floor space. If successful, it will be extended across the chain over the next three years.
The new owners also plan to build apartments on some sites and to add up to a maximum of 50 new stores. Some outlets could also be relocated but, according to Burke, “there will be no closures”. He said he had looked to the US and Europe for ideas for the revamped stores, with the aim of offering “a completely new look that will be strikingly different”.
He is pitching Superquinn at the upper end of the market, but insisted prices would not be out of line. The aim was to grow the business by increasing the selection of food and improving its quality.
Meanwhile, the TNS report confirms Tesco’s dominance of the Irish market. It has increased its share from 25.9% in February to a commanding 26.2% and its onward march looks unstoppable, with the fourth Tesco Express convenience store having opened this week on the Clare/Limerick border.
The other big player, Dunnes Stores, recorded a 22.6% market share, up from 22.4%.