Superquinn

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Superquinn
Industry Retail (various)
Fate Stores rebranded SuperValu
Successor SuperValu
Founded April 29, 1970 (1970-04-29)
Defunct February 13, 2014 (2014-02-13)
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland
Area served
Ireland
Key people
  • Tim Kenny (Managing Director)
Products Groceries, Fresh food, etc.
Parent Musgrave Group (2011–2014)
Website www.superquinn.ie

Superquinn was an Irish supermarket chain, founded in 1960 and entirely privately held by the Quinn family. In 2005, the family sold the profitable concern to Select Retail Holdings Limited. A receiver was appointed to the company on 18 July 2011, and the following day the company was bought by The Musgrave Group plc for an undisclosed sum. On 13 February 2014 all remaining stores were rebranded as SuperValu.[1][2]

Products and services[edit]

The company operated 20 supermarkets under the Superquinn brand and 4 convenience stores under the "Superquinn Select" brand. It had three levels of own brand products of increasing quality; "Euro Shopper", "Superquinn" and "Superior Quality". In 2011, the Euroshopper brand was replaced by "Superquinn Essentials", their low cost, but still high quality, own brand products. Superquinn was known for having a very high level of customer service compared to other supermarket chains, its former owner having written a manual on customer service, "Crowning the Customer". It is also known for having introduced a number of innovations, including Ireland's first supermarket loyalty card in 1993, SuperClub re branded in 2007 as Reward Card. It also introduced self-scanning of goods by customers in a number of its outlets (Reward Card SuperScan). Superquinn was known as one of the better retail grocery companies to work for.

Superquinn was part of an Irish Internet shopping portal Buy4Now, which provides Internet shopping services for a number of Irish retailers.

History[edit]

A Superquinn supermarket in Walkinstown, Dublin.

The business was founded in 1960 as 'Quinns Supermarkets' in Dundalk by Feargal Quinn, and the company headquarters were later moved to Sutton, Dublin. The trading name was subsequently changed to Superquinn, in part to differentiate it from rival Quinnsworth, which had started in the early 1970s. In 1970, the company name was legally registered and founded.[3]

In 1991, Feargal's son Eamonn Quinn took a key management role as deputy chairman.

In January 2005, it was announced that Superquinn was to be sold to a consortium called Select Retail Holdings. On 26 August 2005 it was announced that the sale had been completed. Simon Burke replaced Feargal Quinn as Executive Chairman of the company, with Quinn becoming non-executive President of the business. Eamonn Quinn left the company.

In January 2009, the company made the decision to close the Dundalk store.[4] This was the second time Superquinn had failed in Dundalk, but in September 2010 a High Court order forced Superquinn to re-open in its home town again.[citation needed]

Expansion[edit]

In February 2007 Superquinn purchased the Montrose Hotel in Donnybrook from Jury's Doyle for €40 million and plans to develop the site as a supermarket and apartments. Superquinn has been expanding since the SRH takeover. It has opened stores in Rathborne, Ranelagh and Portlaoise and plans to open stores in Clongriffin, Rathgar, Heuston South Quarter and Kilmainham.[citation needed]

In early 2010 it was confirmed that the Heuston South Quarter store was on schedule for a planned opening in October 2010, it opened on 14 October 2010.

The Sunday Times Home section [5] reported in May 2010 that Superquinn Clongriffin is on hold, with Superquinn quoting that they are "not yet in a position to confirm a likely opening date for a store in Clongriffin". Residents of Clongriffin and surrounding neighbourhoods now fear the planned opening will not transpire. They have set up an online petition and Facebook page [6] to build support for the opening in an effort to show Superquinn that the Clongriffin store is a viable business opportunity.

On 3 September 2008, The Irish Times reported that a number of approaches had been made to buy Superquinn, including from BWG Foods Limited, The Musgrave Group plc, J Sainsbury plc, and Asda Stores Limited.[7] However, later that day Simon Burke told RTÉ News and Current Affairs that the company was not for sale.[8]

Superquinn opened its newly refurbished flagship store in Blackrock, Co Dublin in October 2012.The retailer invested over €2m in the layout of the store, including a complete overhaul of the fresh food section and an expansion of the fish counter, butchery, cheesemonger and parking spaces area. It has since completed work on Ballinter, Blanchardstown, Bray, Knocklyon, Northside, Ranelagh, Swords and Walkinstown with more to follow.

Failed ventures[edit]

The company's innovations have not all become successful. One side effort of the company was the failed bank Tusa (the Irish word for you), a joint venture with TSB Bank (now part of Permanent TSB). A joint venture with Texaco to introduce small Superquinn convenience stores at petrol forecourts, SuperQ, also failed.

Perhaps more importantly for the company has been its failure to expand - Superquinn had less than a third of the branches of its other full-service rivals, Tesco Ireland and Dunnes Stores, and was even eclipsed by discount stores Aldi and Lidl, who have been very aggressive in acquiring sites compared to Superquinn. Its stores were heavily located in the Dublin and Leinster areas (with 3 stores in Munster, and none at all in Connacht or Ulster) in contrast to the other operators which operate nationwide.

Receivership and sale[edit]

On 18 July 2011, it was announced that receivers had been appointed to the Superquinn chain.[9] This was triggered by a consortium of banks believed to be owed around €400m. On 19 July 2011, the chain was reported to have been sold to wholesale group Musgrave Group for just over €100m.[10] Staff were informed that there would be no change to their terms and conditions, or their pensions under the takeover by Musgrave.[11]

The Irish Times reported on 23 July 2011 that two high court actions had been initiated to challenge the receivership and instead place the business in examinership. Lithuanian VP Group was named as a possible bidder for the company.[12]

On 27 July 2011, RTÉ reported that the petition for examinership had been withdrawn, allowing the proposed buyout to proceed. Musgrave are to provide a €10 million fund to benefit suppliers owed money by Superquinn.[13] The Superquinn name disappeared from Ireland's high streets on 13 February 2014 after owners, the Musgrave Group, announced their decision to rebrand all stores as SuperValu.[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]