Eurospar which is marking 15 years in Northern Ireland this month, has seen rapid expansion in the last 12 months with the opening of nine new stores.
And the Mallusk-based Henderson Group, which owns the franchise for the community supermarket brand in Northern Ireland, has announced that another eight Eurospar stores are planned to open before the end of 2016.
The first two Eurospars opened here in Bangor and Warrenpoint in 2000 and since then, the Henderson Group has expanded and adapted the brand in line with emerging changes in consumer shopping behaviour.
Paddy Doody, sales & marketing director at the Henderson Group, said: “In its 15th year the Eurosparbrand has experienced significant growth. Shoppers throughout Northern Ireland are now more aware than ever of this convenient supermarket option and we are delighted to continue to open more stores throughout communities in Northern Ireland. In the past year we have opened nine stores, and a further two are on the horizon before the end of the year.
“Eurospar is a unique hybrid between a convenience store and a supermarket which is situated right in the heart of the community. As shopper habits evolve and people look to shop little and often we believe Eurospar is fully equipped to satisfy. It offers a wide range of fresh and local produce, in a convenient location and at value prices that rival many of the multiples.”
It is down to the brand meeting the needs of these new shopping trends that has created a demand for more of the supermarkets in local communities to open.
New Eurospars have opened in the last year in Dundonald, Ballymoney, Crossmaglen, Richhill, Banbridge, Lisnaskea and Kilkeel, as well as two in Belfast. Three of these are company-owned and run by Henderson Retail, meaning the company now employs a total of 613 staff through 16 company-owned stores in Northern Ireland. There are 44 Eurospars in total – a number that will rise to 46 before the end of 2015.
Six more company-owned store openings are planned for next year, when Eurospar will surpass a landmark 50th store opening in Northern Ireland.
Doody continued; “We have introduced Northern Ireland to a international brand with a local concept – not only are we providing local employment opportunities, but are offering a range of local produce, thanks to our commitment to local suppliers. Over 75% of fresh products on the shelves are sourced on the island of Ireland, and the new enjoy local range that launched in April is made up of 126 products from 22 local suppliers.
“Many Eurospars provide the local butcher, bakery and post office services, so delivering on shopper and retailer needs and demands is at the forefront of the community supermarket’s success.”