Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

2. Tesco

Operations Director: Gary Mills

Employment Number: 8,597

Turnover: £1,205m (Belfast Telegraph estimate)

Pre-tax profit: n/a

Supermarket Tesco has been in Northern Ireland for almost 16 years, arriving here in 1997 after buying Stewarts. Tesco now employs more than 9000 people from Northern Ireland in 51 locations, a figure that includes seven Extra stores, 14 Express stores and two depots.

2011 was another busy year for the company in Northern Ireland, with robust trading figures, refurbishments of existing stores as well as new store openings. In a tough market, Christmas results were strong, which topped off a busy year for the company.

2011 saw a successful £5 million refurbishment programme with substantial investment to refresh four stores in Bloomfields Centre at Bangor, Limavady, Lurgan and Ballymoney. The programme will continue in 2012 and will be a significant focus for the company with a number of stores set to receive multi-million-pound makeovers.

In addition to the refurbishment programme, Tesco invested £73 million in replacement stores under the larger Extra format at Craigavon, Newtownards and Northcott, plus three smaller format Tesco Express stores.

Tesco is hoping for positive decisions from Planning Service in order to create jobs and bring their goods and services to other areas where data shows people are leaving their communities to visit their closest Tesco store, which, in some cases, may be many miles away.

Throughout the year, the supermarket continued to champion local produce by holding two major promotion events which took place in spring and autumn on the store’s seasonal aisles, plus the ongoing addition of new local suppliers and products. Local sourcing has now reached in excess of £520 million and still remains a key focus for Tesco, which works with more than local 90 suppliers, who in turn work with thousands of local farmers. This equates to more than 1,600 local, regional lines being sold by the company.

In September 2011, the company once again hosted the Tesco Taste Northern Ireland Garden Part, which showcased the excellence of local tastes and flavours to more than 12,000 visitors over the 2 days of the show.

Participating in the community continues to be a key objective for Tesco in catchments in which it trades. The company’s current charity of the year, the Alzheimer’s Society is on track to beat the £300k Northern Ireland target through fundraising by Tesco staff and customers. A highlight of this year’s charity fundraising was a 26mile marathon walk on the North Antrim coast in which 160 Tesco staff participated. Community champions are employed at 17 Tesco stores, dedicated to seeking opportunities to support local groups and charities around the store. The Tesco for Schools and Clubs voucher collection scheme’s popularity was repeated, with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of equipment given to schools and clubs across Northern Ireland in 2011 alone, and the scheme is shortly due to start again for 2012.

Belfast-born operations director Gary Mills has responsibility for all stores across the island.

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Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph