Quinn sorry to see end of Superquinn after 53 years

Founder Feargal Quinn accepts ‘that’s business’ but is ‘happy’ brand lasted for so long

Feargal Quinn and his family cashed out in 2005 by selling the business for €420 million to Select Retail Holdings, a consortium of property investors that included Bernard McNamara.

Feargal Quinn and his family cashed out in 2005 by selling the business for €420 million to Select Retail Holdings, a consortium of property investors that included Bernard McNamara.

 



It traded over six decades, saw off nine taoisigh and weathered a few economic storms but from February next year the Superquinn brand will check out of the Irish grocery market.

Cork wholesale group Musgrave, which acquired the business for €229 million in October 2011, has decided to ditch the Superquinn name and rebrand its 24 supermarkets under the SuperValu banner.

This will result in the loss of 102 jobs at Superquinn’s administrative base in Lucan in Dublin over the next 18 months as the brands are merged.

Separately, British retailer Marks & Spencer will close four of its Irish stores later this months with the loss of 180 jobs.

Superquinn was founded in 1960 by Senator Feargal Quinn, who opened its first store in Dundalk. In his time, Superquinn was famed for its fresh produce, innovation and personal touch but it lost its way in recent years with sales declining by 22 per cent over the past decade.

Mr Quinn and his family cashed out in 2005 by selling the business for €420 million to Select Retail Holdings, a consortium of property investors that included Bernard McNamara.

Development potential
This group had planned to capitalise on the development potential from Superquinn’s many sites in the capital but these hopes were dashed when the economy crashed in 2008.

Speaking at the Dublin Horse Show yesterday where he was judging trade stands, Mr Quinn said the demise of the Superquinn brand was a bittersweet moment for him.

“From my point of view, I’m happy that it lasted 53 years,” he said. “I would have loved the name to have stayed for another couple of hundred years but you don’t win them all and I think that Musgrave know what they are doing. It’s eight years since I left so it’s no longer my baby.

“I’ve been kept up to date by the Musgrave people. And at least, even if it’s only the Superquinn sausages that stay, well, that’s something,” he said. “But I still hope they might consider maybe the Superquinn name is worthy of keeping in some other forms as well. But whatever way it is, I recognise that’s business and that’s what happens.”

 

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