Kelly’s Eurospar, Moneymore

From humble beginnings the Kelly’s have built up a portfolio of stores across mid-Ulster and are now one of Henderson Group’s most successful retailers.

A family-run operation, Denise Kelly opened the first store in 1975 – a newsagents in Maghera – (now a SPAR store) with her sons Pearce and Shaun joining the business 15 years later.

In 1990 the family opened a purpose built supermarket in Maghera, which is a EUROSPAR and headquarters for the Kelly’s operation. After 10 successful years with three stores,

DSP were able to expand further with stores in Castledawson, Moneymore, Magherafelt and Toome and most recently the Loup.

Kelly’s EUROSPAR Moneymore is managed by Stephen Mallon and was named Neighbourhood Retailer of the Year 2014 in October as well as Neighbourhood Store (Cat 3).

Located on the A31, which is the main route between Cookstown and Magherafelt, Kelly’s Moneymore has been trading since 2009, originally as SPAR and a EUROSPAR from 2011 onwards.

Shaun Kelly explained: “When we took over this store our objectives were to increase profit margins, turnover, butchery, off-sales and produce sales and we have done all of these things.”

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The butchery team Robert Paul (left) and Dominic Marshall, EUROSPAR Moneymore

Butchery is one area where Pearce and Shaun focused on developing business and since taking over at Moneymore, butchery turnover went up five fold.

EUROSPAR Moneymore has been a success story for Kelly’s – but then so have the other stores within the portfolio.

“All our shops have seen business increase,” said Pearce. “We are always moving with the times and trying to better ourselves and our latest venture is freshly made ready meals.”

The ready meals have stemmed from the butchery, which has enabled Kelly’s to really drive this section.

“We kill our own cattle from our family farm run by my father and two brothers allowing us to employ five full-time butchers,” said Pearce.

This means we have full traceability and can guarantee the quality of our meat and this has led to huge success.

Shaun added: “The success of our ready meals has allowed us to employ two qualified chefs, one cook and assistants.”

Kelly’s now has a purpose built kitchen to cope with the demand and is aiming to provide its customers with a ‘field to fork’ product.

As well as ready meals, Kelly’s have a range of desserts – which are also prepared from scratch by the company’s chefs and are proving a hit with customers.

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Pearce says it’s all about having a point of difference in store to attract repeat custom.

“We know that anyone can sell tins of beans and a loaf but it takes a really good retailer to successfully sell fresh. We strive to meet this goal in all our large format stores and currently the fresh participation in this store is circa 50 per cent of sales.

“This can be attributed to our excellent in-store butchers, our hot food and deli staff, our bread section and our extensive dairy and fresh produce range.”

To keep a close on eye on all aspects of the business, brothers Pearce and Shaun along with

area manager Damien McElhone are able to visit all the stores every day.

At Kelly’s EUROSPAR Moneymore, Stephen has been managing the operation since 2009 closely helped by Gillian and Judith. They have worked hard to help the store develop its business and increase turnover.

“We carried out a refit in 2011 changing the imagery from that of a SPAR store to a

EUROSPAR,” explained Stephen.

“We dropped the price file from express pricing to supermarket pricing and straight away we noticed our customers shopping with baskets and trolleys.

He added: “Our customer count went up and our individual customer spend increased.

“Our in store off-licence underwent a refit in 2013 and has experienced sales growth here too.”

The investment in EUROSPAR Moneymore along with the other seven in the portfolio is testament to the company’s commitment to the local economy and Pearce is proud of the fact that Kelly’s Supermarkets now employs circa 200 people.

*Pictured top is Shaun Kelly, Stephen Mallon, Gillian Wilson and Pearce Kelly

To read the full interview, see the digital  issue of Neighbourhood Retailer here

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