EuroSpar reaches 50th store milestone ahead of schedule
INDIGENOUS retailer the Henderson Group has reached the 50th store milestone for its EuroSpar brand in Northern Ireland months ahead of schedule - and has another five planned by the end of this year.
And with the opening of its latest outlet in Fintona, it means EuroSpar now has the largest number of stores from any supermarket brand in Northern Ireland - including more than Tesco (36) and Sainsbury's (13) combined. Lidl NI has 38 stores, Supervalu 36 and Asda 17.
The niche convenience-supermarket EuroSpar brand has operated in the north since 2000, during which time its Henderson Group owners Martin and Geoffrey Agnew have invested £70 million.
Last September the group celebrated 15 years of the brand and projected the opening of the 50th store by the end of 2016, but have hit their target six months early.
Paddy Doody, sales and marketing director at the Henderson Group, said: “The strength of the EuroSpar brand in Northern Ireland shows that the way people are shopping is changing.
"Consumers no longer want to take time out of their busy lives to visit a multiple for a ‘big shop’, they are looking for convenience and value but with the choice of a multiple, and that is where the EuroSpar brand delivers.
“Just a matter of months ago, we were planning to open eight more stores here in 2016, surpassing the 50th store milestone, and we have already done this, with a further five planned to open by the end of the year.
“Investment in this brand has reached over £70m and we will continue to invest to bring a better and more convenient way of every day shopping throughout Northern Ireland.”
Through the 20 company-owned EuroSpars here, Henderson Group directly employ over 600 members of staff, with over 1,000 more employed through the rest of the independently-owned EuroSpar network.
Mr Doody added: “As we continue to recruit retailers and open supermarkets within communities, we are providing vital employment opportunities, and also enabling local suppliers and farmers to get their products on our shelves.
"Over 75 per cent of our fresh product is sourced here including the new enjoy local range which is made up of 144 products from 25 local suppliers, while many EuroSpars provide the local butcher, bakery and post office services for the community.
“The new stores will also have the opportunity to provide life-saving equipment for their area with the installation of a new, state-of-the-art defibrillator that will be accessible to the public 24/7.”
The first two EuroSpars opened in Bangor and Warrenpoint in 2000. The 50th store, EuroSpar Fintona opened last Thursday.
The overall Henderson Group, which operates from a head office in Mallusk, employs more than 2,900 employees across Northern Ireland and in its last full trading year reported an annual turnover of £663.6m.