We operate in Ireland through the BWG Group – the largest convenience operator with approximately 12% grocery market share. Through its branded retail estate, BWG Group employs over 22 000 people across Ireland and serves more than one million consumers every single day. BWG Group owns Ireland’s largest cash and carry chain, Value Centre, which has 22 branches nationwide.

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Our real estate portfolio by numbers

Our retail brands include SPAR, MACE, XL, Londis and EUROSPAR. In 2018, we acquired 4 Aces (adding the Gala convenience group) as well as Corrib Food Products (expanding our offering to include fresh and frozen poultry and other frozen foods). Our retail estate portfolio profile is changing.

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BWG Group wholesale turnover for retail brands

BWG Group geographic retail estate by store numbers

BWG Group retail estate in Ireland by brand

Key priorities identified for 2019 and how we performed

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Integrating 4 Aces was successful and the acquisition is driving enhanced shareholder value. A major challenge was retaining Gala retailers, albeit substantially achieved. We upgraded warehouse facilities and retained key employees. The business transferred onto BWG Group information technology, finance and MIS platforms and applies BWG Group’s trading terms. The business achieved all anticipated synergies and delivered a very strong performance in 2019.

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We launched and started rolling out four newly designated profile stores:

  • SPAR Lifestyle: SPAR Millennium
  • SPAR Everyday Needs: Shanowen
  • SPAR My Usual: SPAR Terminal 2 Dublin Airport
  • SPAR Markets
  • SPAR Carpenterstown

Using learnings from these stores .we are retrofitting relevant aspects of the new design and food offerings through suitable digital initiatives into existing SPAR stores where appropriate.

We started implementing new bespoke promotions supported by profile-specific handbills. We also launched a new value proposition, called Red VALUE, in store, supported by new TV and radio advertising. A new everyday value proposition known as Shopper essentials was also introduced. The new TV brand campaign ensures that the new look, feel and essence of the strategy are well embedded.


  • Mitigation of the Brexit risk to the business
  • Continued like-for-like topline growth
  • Continuing to support retailers to achieve topline and profitability growth
  • Completion of the Corrib Foods acquisition in foodservice
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The BWG Group invested significant time in preparing for Brexit through key initiatives including actively engaging with the Minister of Enterprise and driving conversations with government departments responsible for the in-bound tariff and customs arrangements. Maintaining the future supply of grocery foods is a challenge, particularly for meat and perishables.

We continue engaging with industry bodies such as Retail Ireland and the wider IBEC organisation.

BWG Group has relationships with over 600 individual suppliers. We maintain an active dialogue with suppliers to understand their positions and to plan accordingly. We rely on suppliers to secure their value chains and manage the import of groceries as we do not have the capacity to substantially increase stockholding.

As a result, contingency plans have included the transfer of manufacturing of products for the Irish market from the UK to alternative European manufacturing sites. Work is also ongoing to reroute inbound supply of goods directly to Ireland.

The acquisition of Corrib Foods was completed in November 2018 and the business delivered very strong performance in 2019.

Retail foodservice innovation and differentiation are key elements of BWG Foods’ offering to retailers. The business invested resources to create an innovation team focusing on identifying food trends and creating foodservice offers that satisfy consumers’ changing needs and tastes.

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The investment in a new innovations team continued to pay dividends in delivering new food concepts and product offers for new or revamped retail sites. Testament to this are the numerous awards achieved for these stores, providing a showcase for many new concepts.

BWG Group continues using the annual tradeshow to profile new concepts and food innovations to its retail customer base.

Awards for 2019

  • The BWG Group national distribution centre received the Logistics Company of the Year 2019 Award for the second consecutive year at the annual Transport and Logistics Awards event.
  • SPAR Parkwest was selected as the Best Convenience store under 1 500 square feet at the annual Shelflife Awards and received the Supreme Award: National Convenience store of the Year.
  • SPAR Letterkenny won the Convenience Store of the Year Category 1 (up to 1 750 square feet) at the Forecourt Awards.
  • The newly revamped SPAR Millennium Walkway was honoured with several industry awards including Excellence in Fresh Food retailing in a Convenience Store 2019 at the Best in Fresh Awards and the Best Store Redesign Award at the National Retail Supplier Awards 2019. This concept store was also a finalist in the NACS Global Convenience Store of the Year.
  • MACE Lissycasey won Best Fresh Food Retailing in a Forecourt at the Checkout Best in Fresh Award – its third award in three years. MACE Cootehill won two awards: Best Customer Service and Best Local Supplier Support.