Centra, Ireland’s leading convenience retailer, cemented its status as market leader after recorded sales of €1.7 billion in 2019, a 4% year-on-year increase on 2018.
Building on this strong commercial performance, Ireland’s leading convenience retailer plans to open 20 new stores this year, adding over 480 jobs to the Centra network in 2020. Centra retailers have also committed to further invest in revamping stores as part of an investment of €27 million.
Centra’s continued success stems from its 2016 brand repositioning to redefine the traditional convenience store experience with a healthier, more innovative offering across its network. The increase in sales has been largely attributed to increased demand for its innovative healthy food-to-go offering, capitalising on emerging consumer trends by offering new vegan, vegetarian and prepared evening meals as well as increased footfall to the newly designed internationally award-winning store format.
Centra’s “Inspired By” gourmet range was recognised as the number one convenience range at the prestigious Great Taste and Blas na hEireann awards this year. The “Inspired By” Centra premium range saw sales spike by double digits during the course of the year, helping the brand to attract more customers to do top-up shopping and purchase items for dinner or entertaining at home. The overall hot food-to-go category fared particularly well for Centra in 2019, increasing by 13%.
Centra has continued to invest in new product development. Frank and Honest coffee, which has established itself as the number one coffee brand in Ireland, saw sales increase by 19% in 2019. Centra rolled out a number of new brands including Moo’d, an in-store ice cream kiosk. Customers voted with their feet leading to over 3 million Moo’d cones sold during the course of the year.
Speaking at Centra’s annual conference at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, Centra said: “Centra continued to go from strength to strength in 2019, benefiting from the brand repositioning a number of years ago to transform the convenience store experience.
“People increasingly view Centra as a destination shop, so we’re seeing increased footfall as groups of consumers eat together in-store or do top-up shops for dinner. We continue to surpass shoppers’ expectations by rolling out new innovative and healthy ranges and working hard to ensure our customers have a great experience in our stores.
“We could not deliver any of this without our retailers, who are some of the best entrepreneurs in Ireland. They have embraced our new ideas and also shared their own innovative solutions with us to spread across the network. As a result, Centra continues to lead in the convenience market.”
With a total of 473 stores, Centra employs almost 11,000 people and serves over three million customers per week. Centra invests more than €240 million in local communities per annum, which is the equivalent of €4.5 million per week through a combination of payments to local suppliers, acquisition of local business services, wages, charitable donations and local sponsorships.