Spar stockpiles food products in North in plans for no-deal Brexit

John Henderson Holdings operates 80 stores and is major wholesaler for grocery trade

Henderson Wholesale  holds the franchise for Spar, EuroSpar and Vivo in Northern Ireland

Henderson Wholesale holds the franchise for Spar, EuroSpar and Vivo in Northern Ireland

 

The parent group of one of Northern Ireland’s largest convenience retail chains, which operates Spar, EuroSpar and Vivo brands, has confirmed it is stockpiling certain food products in the North as part of its “detailed contingency plans” for a no-deal Brexit.

John Henderson Holdings, which is one of the North’s most successful family firms, stated in its latest set of financial accounts that, together with its suppliers, it has been working on plans to minimise any adverse impacts of a no-deal Brexit for some months.

The group said these plans include ensuring that “additional stocks are in place to satisfy our demands, securing additional warehouse space as we build stock of ambient and frozen lines and identifying product lines that may be a higher risk of shortages”.

John Henderson Holdings has a portfolio of seven companies which includes Henderson Retail which owns and operates 80 supermarket, neighbourhood and forecourt stores.

It also operates Henderson Wholesale which holds the franchise for Spar, EuroSpar and Vivo in Northern Ireland and provides a marketing and distribution service to more than 470 grocery retailers.

Family business

The Co Antrim headquartered group, which has been in business since 1897, is primarily controlled by the Agnew family. Its latest set of financial accounts show the family business grew its turnover from £759 million (€861m) in 2017 to an all-time high of £853 million last year. It also significantly increased its pre-tax profits from £20 million in 2017 to £33.2 million last year.

During 2018 John Henderson Holdings invested £40.3 million across its retail and wholesale operations and acquired the Co Monaghan company BD Foods to support its “strategic ambitions to increase its presence in the rapidly expanding ROI food service sector”. According to the accounts it also increased its workforce to 3,570 people which pushed payroll costs up to £74.8 million.

The accounts detail that the group’s directors’ “aggregate remuneration” also increased from £1.027 million in 2017 to £1.146 million last year.