Belfast Telegraph

Retail group toasts turnover rise with online wine store investment

By Heather McGarrigle

A Northern Ireland retail group has announced it will be investing £1.5m in expansion as it sees turnover rise to £20m.

Kenny's Group operates convenience stores, forecourts and wine stores at six locations across Mid Ulster and the north west of the province.

The group says its staff levels have already increased by around 50% to 160 employees.

Part of its latest investment will be to open a new online wine store and home delivery service.

It is hoped that entering the online marketplace will widen the firm's customer base.

Homedeliverywine.com launches this week and will feature a blog and news updates. The group's owner, Kenny Bradley, said he hoped the new venture will allow the company to take advantage of export opportunities, by reaching customers outside of Northern Ireland.

He said: "With strong backing from Ulster Bank, we have been investing in the group, in terms of capital investment, but also in staff training, staff uniforms, branding and marketing.

"As a result, we have been able to continue to expand the company and to increase employment in the local area."

The £1.3m redevelopment last year of the group's filling station in Magherafelt created 17 new jobs for the area.

The group reports that the revamp has resulted in a 58% increase in sales.

Ulster Bank corporate banking senior manager, Allen Reid, said the bank was "pleased" to support the group's continuing success.

"Kenny is very entrepreneurial and despite the challenging economic environment he has been able to continue to grow his business through good management. His latest venture is forward thinking and complements his existing trade," Mr Reid said.

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