Musgrave expansion to include creation of 20 shops and 500 jobs
Musgrave NI, the retailer behind Centra, SuperValu, MACE and MarketPlace, has said it will invest £28m in its portfolio with the launch of up to 20 new stores around Northern Ireland this year.
The cash injection will also see the creation of 500 new jobs and the revamp of 40 existing outlets.
The move is part of Musgrave NI's "vision to redefine convenience" and it follows on from the group's boost in turnover last year of 4% to €3.9bn (£3.4bn).
Its pre-tax profits also rose by 5.6% to €84.5m (£75.2m).
Across the island of Ireland, SuperValu grew sales last year by 1.5% to €2.9bn (£2.6bn), with Centra growing 4% to €1.9bn (£1.7bn). In Northern Ireland, SuperValu, Centra, MACE and MarketPlace delivered significant growth in 2018.
Michael McCormack, managing director of Musgrave NI, said: "These results provide a solid platform for us to grow our presence in the Northern Ireland market and we very much leverage our group strength when it comes to buying, tapping into expertise and adapting concepts that we see working across our business.
"While 2018 was a good year, we know we can't stand still. Our plans are ambitious but achievable. For us, this is all about how we'll realise our vision to 'redefine convenience' in Northern Ireland.'
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"We have been working towards achieving this vision across our SuperValu, Centra and MACE brands; focusing on what matters to our shoppers - bringing healthier, restaurant quality food to convenience and continuously innovating across all aspects of convenience."
Among the retailer's recent developments have been the introduction of the Frank and Honest on-the-go coffee offering at 110 SuperValu and Centra stores here.
Green Kitchen - a freshly prepared standalone salad bar - has also been added to many stores as well as its new XO Donuts range.
Among the 20 new stores will be the conversion of existing retailers over to one of the Musgrave brands. Joining the group recently has been a Gracey's Centra store at City Quays. Another is planned for Mallusk later in the year.
Mr McCormack said: "First and foremost, we want to work with the best independent retailers and grow business together.
"However, as we seek to grow and offer our existing retailers the benefits of scale, we are looking at converting retailers and saying to those that are thinking of selling their business, freehold or leasehold - that we are very much open for business."