Dairygold’s store network to be enhanced in €11.5 million investment

Dairygold has announced plans to enhance its store network, as part of a major €11.5 million store investment plan over the next three years.

Currently, Dairygold has a network of 39 stores across the Munster area under the Co-Op Superstores & Co-Op Stores retail brands – as well as an online store.

It is hoped that this investment will represent a major commitment by Dairygold to provide a “modern retail offering, that’s fit for purpose to serve its farming members and customer needs in a changing and challenging retail landscape”.

The investment plan will include: store development and enhancements; establishing new purpose-built stores at certain existing locations; the upgrade of some older stores; and the integration of some stores.

With growing engagement with the online store, the focus of this investment plan will be on “continuing to deliver competitive pricing to customers across a well-stocked, well-priced, farmer-owned retail network”, Dairygold’s Head of Retail, John O’Carroll, said.

A comprehensive “root and branch review” of all Dairygold’s stores was taken before any investment decisions were taken.

The detailed review examined: store size; site location and facilities; physical condition; upgrade or refurbishment costs; commercial performance; customer base; and long term commercial potential.

Commenting on the investment, O’Carroll said: “Our current stores vary significantly in terms of their size, location, physical condition and product offering, from very small rural depots to relatively large urban superstores.

Getting the best return on our investment required an analysis of the different needs of these varied stores to allocate funds effectively. Some stores will benefit from enhanced facilities and offerings, while others will require an upgrade and refurbishment.

“Others will not be invested in, in the context of long-term viability and we will look to integrate these into neighbouring stores. 13 stores have been identified and we are now in a period of consultation with our elected representatives, employees, customers and other stakeholders,” he said.

The objective of the retail review and store investment plan will be to provide a “re-vitalised and more focused customer centric store network that is fit for purpose in serving farming and customer needs in a changing retail landscape”, O’Carroll concluded.