Irish convenience retailer Centra plans to open 20 new stores in 2024, creating around 500 new jobs across the country.
The initiative is part of a €27-million store expansion programme, which will also see the renovation of 40 existing stores for better customer experience and making the brand more sustainable, the company noted.
Managing director of Centra, Ian Allen stated, “We are continuing to invest in creating innovative and more convenient experiences for our customers, giving them the solution they want for every occasion, whether that is on-the-go breakfast and lunch, or dinner for tonight.
“Our Centra retailers are at the heart of every community in Ireland, and I want to pay tribute to them for continuing to deliver to the highest standards of convenience retailing and taking caring of our communities in what remains a very difficult trading environment, with the cumulative cost of business continuing to rise across multiple areas.”
Centra generated sales worth €2.1 billion in 2023, boosted by its expanded store footprint.
The convenience chain noted that its growth was underpinned by strong performance in its core categories, a reflection of its leadership in areas like on-the-go breakfast and lunch, convenience meals and Frank and Honest coffee.
Deli and food-to-go sales were up 11% in 2023, while bread and cake sales grew 7%, ready meals rose by 17%, and its own-brand range increased by 12%, the retailer added.
Irish gourmet bean-to-cup coffee brand Frank & Honest registered year-on-year growth of 9% in 2023.
Moo’d ice cream, Centra’s exclusive ice cream brand, saw an 8% increase in sales last year, and is now available in 314 stores across its retail estate.
This year, the ice cream brand plans to expand its gelato flavours.
Centra also achieved its target of a 12% carbon reduction across the brand in the 12 months following the launch of the Musgrave Sustainability Fund in summer 2022.