Irish grocery – a changing landscape

Published by: Edel Kane

2014.02.28

This month marked an end of an era in the Irish grocery sector with all 24 Superquinn stores officially being rebranded to SuperValu on Thursday 13th February. Superquinn had built a highly reputable brand in the Irish market place with strong associations of quality across an inspiring range of fresh food produce. The question now is what can we expect from our old Superquinn store in the future?

The merger of any two brands is a difficult undertaking, however, what RED C think will pave the way for a smoother transition in this case is that both brands are built on the same core set of values. The focus on customer service, providing quality, fresh, local food and strong Irish roots are common of both brands which will help facilitate a harmonious merger. While the Superquinn name is now gone the essence or image of what the brand stood for remains consistent despite the merger – with SuperValu’s commitment ”to bringing you the same quality and service with even better value”. SuperValu’s own brand range also allows the newly branded SuperQuinn stores to provide value to customers while retaining quality credentials, and compete with the major competitors in delivering quality own brand options across the store.

Support for the merger was also given by Fergal Quinn (former owner of SuperQuinn) who stated that he was happy Superquinn would be part of an Irish company (SuperValu) that had been in business over 100 years and who was currently investing heavily in the refurbishment of their existing stores throughout Ireland.

On the run up to the final switch over to SuperValu we had seen a gradual change in store, moving away from the green colour scheme of the old Superquinn to the new look SuperValu which gives a strong impression of quality locally produced food.

The customer response has reportedly been very positive but Martin Kelleher, the Managing Director of SuperValu admits they have been very careful in the changes that they’ve made ”we’ve talked to shoppers an awful lot, we’ve listened to any concerns they’ve had”. The overall aim is to see the best of both retailers merged together and of course this includes keeping the infamous Superquinn sausages and other customer favourites.

Aside from the branding what the merger has done for SuperValu is to immediately increase market share, particularly so in Dublin, so the gloves are now on for a four way fight between SuperVau, Dunnes, Tesco and the Discounters. It will be an interest couple of months ahead and one which RED C will be keeping a close eye on.

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