- Record Centra sales of €2.1bn in 2023 helped by expanded store footprint
- €27m investment planned across new store openings, and revamps of existing stores
- Centra set to surpass 500 stores in 2024, with largest convenience footprint in Ireland
Centra, Ireland’s leading convenience retailer, plans to open 20 new stores in 2024, creating 500 new jobs nationwide. The openings are part of a €27m store expansion programme, which will also encompass the revamp of 40 existing Centra stores, to elevate the customer experience while investing in making our brand more sustainable.
The convenience brand has experienced significant growth in its nationwide presence in recent years. Ireland’s largest convenience store network currently has 496 stores across Ireland and, with this continued investment into 2024, is expected to rapidly surpass 500 stores nationwide for the first time, embedding it as the convenience brand with the largest footprint in Ireland.
This year’s store refurbishment programme, demonstrating Centra’s continuous commitment to excellence, will build on the investment made over the past five years, in which time Centra has invested up to €100 million in the revamp and refresh of 355 stores.
Centra delivered a record-breaking performance in 2023, with sales of €2.1bn reflecting the brand’s resilience, expanding footprint, and its continued sharp focus on responding to consumer needs to give customers what they want, when they want it from Ireland’s leading convenience brand.
Centra Managing Director Ian Allen said: “Centra is Ireland’s leader in convenience retail, continuously evolving our offering in order to meet customer needs and stay ahead of the market. We are continuing to invest in creating innovative and more convenient experiences for our customers, giving them the solution they want for every occasion, whether that is on-the-go breakfast and lunch, or dinner for tonight. Our Centra retailers are at the heart of every community in Ireland, and I want to pay tribute to them for continuing to deliver to the highest standards of convenience retailing and taking caring of our communities in what remains a very difficult trading environment, with the cumulative cost of business continuing to rise across multiple areas.”
Centra’s growth was underpinned by a strong performance in its core categories, a reflection of its leadership in areas like on-the-go breakfast and lunch, convenience meals and Frank and Honest coffee. Deli and food-to-go sales were up 11%, bread and cake sales grew 7%, ready meals rose by 17% and our own brand range increased by 12% as consumers continued to seek the best value and quality convenience offering.
Frank & Honest, the number one gourmet bean-to-cup coffee brand in Ireland, continues to go from strength to strength, with year-on-year growth increasing by 9% in 2023. The next-generation range includes innovative new lines like iced coffee, already available and in 65 stores and proving hugely popular.
Moo’d ice cream, Centra’s exclusive ice cream brand, saw an 8% increase in sales in 2023 is now available in 314 stores across the retail estate. This year, the much-loved ice cream brand will see an expanding of gelato flavours, giving customers greater choice and enjoyment of the range.
Centra continues to make progress on its environmental sustainability journey, and successfully achieved its target of a 12% carbon reduction across the brand in the 12 months following the launch of the Musgrave Sustainability Fund in summer 2022. Over the past two years, a total investment of €23m, combining contributions from both retailers and Centra, has been allocated towards enhancing sustainability upgrades in Centra stores. This investment forms part of the preparations for the upcoming launch of the Deposit Return Scheme across the 321 Centra stores taking part.