Managing director: Frank Dunne
Pre-tax profit: £27.7m
The retailer was founded by Northern Ireland-born Ben Dunne in 1944, initially as a clothing retailer.
Groceries were introduced to the chain in the 1960s, initially in a small way. It now has well over 100 stores in the Republic.
As well as more than 100 stores in the south the company has 23 stores in Northern Ireland, 11 in Great Britain and five in Spain.
The first store in Northern Ireland opened in 1971 and this expansion continued rapidly to now stand at 23 stores. It opened its first store in Spain in 1980 and has since opened four more.
The company further expanded into the UK with textile only stores. There are currently six stores in various parts of England and the retailer made its first move into the Scottish market with the acquisition of a store in Glasgow in 2000, a second store in Glenrothes in 2002, a third store in Clydebank in 2004, a fourth in Parkhead, followed by a fifth, Cumbernauld in 2007.
In January Dunnes was ranked 231st among the world’s top 250 retailers in an annual survey published by Deloitte.
The company is still run by the Dunne family, primarily two of the founder’s children Frank Dunne and Margaret Heffernan, and maintains a low media profile.
In September following months of rumours of a planned takeover of Dunnes by a British chain, Mrs Heffernan stressed that the company would not be sold and would remain a family-run firm.
Late last year Dunnes third in command, chief operating officer Andrew Street, left the retailer. He was the most senior non-family director.
The retailer celebrated 65 years in business last year by fighting back against Tesco and low cost rivals such as Aldi and Lidl in the Republic with lower prices and a successful advertising campaign based around the slogan “the difference is we’re Irish”.
It has always been proud of the fact that it is a privately-owned Irish company and the campaign helped it gain market share. However, it also then had to cope with Tesco’s decision to source a huge amount of product directly from suppliers in the UK in order to cut costs to consumers in the Republic.
It recently made the news by challenging the size of a tax levy imposed on it by the Irish Government for plastic bags.
46-50 South Great George’s Street,
Tel: 00353 1 475 1111