A new-look Superquinn is emerging less than a year after the Irish chain was taken over by an Irish business consortium.
Chief executive Simon Burke has revamped the management team, recruiting key players from outside the company, restructured the business and established a new head office.
A redesigned Dublin store, which may become a model for the chain’s 20 other outlets, is due to be unveiled in April.
As part of the restructuring, aimed at improving service and efficiency, the Superquinn business has been split into two divisions. One includes all the larger Dublin outlets, with the other covering smaller stores and those outside the capital.
Burke said he had looked at the US and Europe for ideas on revamping the stores to offer customers something “strikingly different”. The ultimate test will come in April, when a store in the Dublin suburb of Blanchardstown, which is currently being redesigned at a cost of €3m, will face critical scrutiny. If successful, the new format, with a stronger emphasis on fresh food, will be adopted across the chain.
Superquinn’s share of the Irish market has remained close to 8.5%, less than a third of that now garnered by Tesco, the dominant player. But Burke already sees signs of progress and claims that since the takeover last year, there has been a 4% to 5% increase in turnover at Superquinn.
Head office has been moved from the Dublin suburb of Sutton, close to the home of the chain’s founder Feargal Quinn, to the suburb of Lucan in “a painless operation”.
>>p14 Movers & Shakers
US grocery chain Whole Foods Market’s first-quarter net profit for the 16 weeks to January 15 rose 26% to $58.3m on sales up 22% to $1.7bn. The chain, which plans to open a store in London next year, also said that like-for-like sales rose 13%.

Coca-Cola’s fourth-quarter net profit to December 31 fell 28% to $864m on sales up 7% to $5.55bn. The company blamed the slip on a one-off tax charge and a decrease in demand for soft drinks in north western Europe.

PepsiCo’s fourth-quarter net profit to December 31 rose 13% to $1.1bn on net sales up 15% to $10.1bn. Full-year net profit fell to $4.08bn from $4.21bn on sales up to $32.56bn from $29.26bn.
Cadbury Schweppes is to buy South African chewing gum business Dan Products, which supplies the Stirmoral and Dirol brands, for £33m. Cadbury also plans to sell Bromor Foods, its South African branded concentrate and soft drinks business.

Wal-Mart plans to open at least 1,500 more stores in the US, said John Menzer, US stores division chief. Wal-Mart will open 335-370 stores in the US this year. Last month it opened 69 new stores.

Russian grocery retailer Pyaterochka said that like-for-like sales at its Moscow and St Petersburg stores rose 5% year-on-year last month, with overall sales leaping 35%.

Fyffes has acquired a 60% stake in Brazilian fresh produce export company Nolem, Brazil’s largest melon supplier and exporter.
Anthony Garvey
n profit up 26%
n coke down
n pepsi up
n gum purchase
n thinking big
n russian boom
n fyffes buy