Centra plans €30m investment as it eyes new stores

Convenience retailer is planning to add 400 jobs by the end of the year

The Centra brand was repositioned in 2016 as part of the “continued shift by consumers for healthier options”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

The Centra brand was repositioned in 2016 as part of the “continued shift by consumers for healthier options”. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

 

Convenience retailer Centra plans to open 30 new stores in Ireland as part of a €30 million investment in the business owned by Musgraves.

Additionally, it plans to revamp a further 100 stores which, it says, will create 400 new jobs.

The 30 new stores include eight greenfield sites with the remainder made up of retailers looking to take on the Centra brand, a spokeswoman said. All of the new stores will be opened by the end of this year.

While all of the newly branded Centra stores will be spread across the country, it is expected that roughly 50 per cent of the new jobs will result from the opening of greenfield sites.

The Centra brand was repositioned in 2016 as part of the “continued shift by consumers for healthier options”. In the past 12 months sales of the company’s “Grab & Go” sandwich range rose by 24 per cent, impulse water purchases increased by 10 per cent while salad box sales reached almost €2 million. Sales in the hot beverages category doubled in 2017, led by the introduction of the “Frank and Honest” coffee brand to 370 of Centra’s stores.

“We are very happy with our performance in 2017 in what is an extremely competitive market. Our decision to reposition Centra in response to changing consumer trends, with customers increasingly choosing healthy options, has paid dividends,” said Martin Kelleher, Centra managing director.

“We are well-positioned for the future with plans to open a further 30 Centra stores in 2018, highlighting the attractiveness of the Centra brand to independent retailers,” he added.

The retailer employs over 11,000 people in Ireland and has 450 stores.