Retail is Ireland’s largest industry, the largest private sector employer and a critical contributor to the country’s economy.

Our employees are an asset

2 725

Employees across our corporate offices, distribution centres, depots and warehouses in Ireland

No complaints/fines

We adhere to relevant Irish and UK labour legislation and standards

BWG Group is a significant employer directly in its wholesale and retail operations and indirectly through its extensive retail store network. BWG Group maintains positive relationships with the two recognised unions – the Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union and the Mandate Trade Union. No significant labour issues occurred during 2019.

Read more about our employees in the section on material relationships.

Supporting our people as they develop

€320 000

Spent on employee development


Employees trained


Apprenticeships in BWG Group


Apprenticeships in retail outlets

We believe that our employees’ hard work and commitment must be respected, and we are committed to providing a working environment that is safe and conducive to personal well-being and growth. We train employees to ensure they are adequately equipped to carry out tasks efficiently, safely and according to required standards. The core skills required by our management team include the ability to manage and integrate new acquisitions, service orientation and innovation.

BWG Group opened a new national training centre that will deliver the best practical skills for retailers and their people. This facility offers effective off-site training for fresh food teams and is a key element of the retailer brand strategy. Several programmes developed in the practical training centre are industry certified courses.

Given the full employment economy, a new recruitment service commenced to provide an applicant tracking and talent management system for retailers. This assists retailers in managing the hiring process in store by digitising the recruitment process. It has proven successful in finding candidates as job seekers increasingly only search for jobs online.

We invested in new content for online training as part of the plan to add five e-learning programmes this year. We continue expanding our online training facility.

BWG Group was instrumental in developing the new retail apprenticeship Supervisory programme launched in September 2019. The successful completion of this course leads to a retail degree programme. This is a key initiative to create the circumstances for the next talent pool of independent retailers. Other industry certified training programmes include retail supervisory and customer service leadership.

Two new apprenticeship programmes were launched in warehousing and transport for our distribution centre employees. A pilot programme for the new apprenticeships is under way and BWG Group was instrumental in developing the programmes in logistics and supply chain management.

Ensuring health and safety


Employees who received health and safety training

No complaints/fines

We subscribe to the legislated requirements for health and safety and are audited accordingly


Deaths on duty

Employees’ health and safety are highly regulated aspects of our business. We offer health screening and have an employee assistance programme in place facilitating activities for head office employees.

BWG Group hosted a comprehensive educational tour organised by SPAR International to Ireland to inspire its next generation retail technologies. The two-day look and learn tour featured several high-level interactive meetings with various world leading technology companies in their respective fields, including Microsoft, Intel, Checkpoint, Google, IBM, NCR and Ireland’s Pointy. Each company used the opportunity to showcase the latest technology solutions that will revolutionise how stores operate and how consumers shop in the near future.

Show more…

The tour raised the profile of BWG Group as Ireland’s retail sector, and convenience in particular, is perceived to be at the forefront of global innovation.

Connections with SPAR International colleagues resulted in collaborations and potential cost sharing initiatives being identified. Access to confidential and cutting-edge research was facilitated which would have been difficult without the international interest.

Retailers could view and discuss successful practices in SPAR Ireland’s stores as a way of sharing best practice within the SPAR network. The interest of this tour reflects SPAR’s desire to capitalise on advances in technology driving the digitisation of retail.

Investing in communities

We raise funds for select charities and organisations within our communities. These relate to, among others, cystic fibrosis, homelessness, hospice services, heart health and suicide prevention services. Using an app and website, we collaborate with Food Cloud across BWG Group’s wholesale and retail businesses to connect our surplus food to nearby charities.

Our charity partner in Ireland

SPAR retailers selected Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI) as its charity partner in 2017. To date, over €625 000 was raised through various activities, including funds raised by SPAR and its shoppers through collection boxes in stores and a donation on selected SPAR house brand products. SPAR retailers also support CFI’s calendar of fundraising events. SPAR Ireland received an award from CFI in April 2019 for outstanding contribution to fundraising. Our partnership with CFI ends in October 2019, when SPAR retailers will vote for a new charity partner for the next two years.

CFI is a leading national organisation dedicated to improving quality of life of people with cystic fibrosis and their families. It provides information and education, advice and advocacy, offers grant assistance, undertakes research and funds state-of-the-art dedicated cystic fibrosis health facilities. For more, visit

SPAR partnership for football

SPAR Ireland is the proud partner of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) as the official convenience retailer. There are two key properties within this sponsorship:

Title sponsor of SPAR FAI primary school 5s programme: The programme is the biggest primary school programme in the country. The emphasis is firmly placed on fun, inclusivity and fostering a passion for physical activity. SPAR became title sponsor of the fun five-a-side football programme in 2015.

Official national convenience store partner of the FAI: SPAR Ireland benefits significantly through its association with football in Ireland. The partnership allows us to drive brand awareness via pitch side advertising and half-time advertising at international matches. SPAR also has access to tickets for home matches, which are used to drive consumer engagement through in-store and social media giveaways.