H Williams (supermarket)

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H Williams was a supermarket chain in Ireland founded as a grocer in the late 19th century.[1] In 1959 it opened the first supermarket in Ireland, in Dublin's Henry Street.[1] Though publicly listed on the Dublin Stock Exchange for many years, the Quinn-McArdle family controlled its board and provided most of its senior management.[2] In the early 1980s it was sold to a its managing director, John Quinn, and property developer Finbarr Holland.[3][1] H Williams collapsed in 1987, following a price war that led to the 1987 amendment to the Groceries Order in an effort to protect the market from further concentration.[4] The former H Williams supermarkets were sold to other supermarket chains.

H Williams' head office was situated in Dundrum, Dublin, also the site of Pye electric goods at one time, now close to the present town centre.[clarification needed] There was also a store located there and said Rolls-Royce's, much more iconic then than now could be observed frequently.[clarification needed]

Other stores included ones located in Rathmines, Terenure, Tallaght (now a Lidl) and Killester as well as one in Mullingar[5] -- the Fairgreen Shopping Centre is located on its site.


  1. ^ a b c "Victim of a Price War". Irish Daily Mail. 8 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Quinn, John James". Dictionary of Irish Biography. February 2016.
  3. ^ Oram, Hugh (July 24, 2017). "Gone shopping – An Irishman's Diary on Dublin's old grocery shops". Irish Times.
  4. ^ Groceries Order: Background[dead link]
  5. ^ "Future of Mullingar H. Williams Store". Westmeath Examiner. 1987-11-07. p. 1. Retrieved 2023-08-08 – via Irish Newspaper Archives.