Martin Agnew: Investing in the future
After an impressive year of trading in 2022, Henderson Group will now look to channel their profits back into the business to provide even more investment in their retail infrastructure and technologies, sustainability strategies, and to bring even more value when their shoppers need it the most.
Martin Agnew, Joint Managing Director of the Group which operates four companies from its Mallusk base, says the coming months will not be without its challenges when it comes to the rising costs of energy, increased inflation rates, business rates and of course, suppliers facing continued rising costs of feed, fuel and fertiliser, which all have an effect on prices on the shelves for shoppers.
“We invested over £45 million in new builds, renovations and refurbishments across our Henderson Retail network, and in partnership with our independent retailers in 2022. We officially cut the ribbon on our final two store openings of the year in December, EUROSPAR Shankill Road, which stands as a 7,000+ sq. ft. supermarket and is focused on bringing value for the local community, and SPAR Route Service Station in Ballymoney which was a knock down and rebuild of a state-of-the-art fresh food hall with an expansive forecourt.”
Hendersons has been quick to react to the change of shopper behaviour in the past couple of years, which can be summed up in one of its flagship builds of the year – the new SPAR Mallusk Road, which features Northern Ireland’s first Barista Bar drive-thru, with its new Delish food for now brand taking precedence within the store.
Martin continued: “Mallusk is largely industrial with many businesses operating in the area, however it also has high passing trade and residential areas on its outskirts.
“When designing this store, we wanted to ensure we were delivering on freshly prepared food to go options, alongside an abundance of value driven local products and essentials for tonight’s tea and beyond, as well as attractive consumer services that make us stand out in a busy marketplace.”
‘We have earmarked over £60 million to invest back into our business and offer shoppers a range of deals throughout the year’
Looking towards 2023, Henderson Group is remaining optimistic against the challenges of soaring energy costs and rising inflation, says Martin.
“While inflation is peaking, we have earmarked over £60 million to invest back into our business and offer shoppers a range of deals throughout the year – good value remains at the core of what we do, and our ambition is to bring even greater value to doorsteps of every neighbourhood we operate within.
“At the start of the year, Mega Deals launched with a new campaign for 2023. It has returned with a £1.4m initiative bringing over five months of weekly deals, delivering deep cut prices on high value products, in promotional bursts throughout the year. This will be available across the 500 branded stores our wholesale business supplies to in Northern Ireland and will of course complement our wide range of fresh and locally sourced products and produce, the 12 Deals of Christmas value driving campaign, plus Tesco Price Match which is available in over 70 EUROSPAR community supermarkets.”
We can also expect Henderson Group to continue investing in their store development, growing their stores and capturing even more of that ‘for now and for later’ market with their wide range of locally sourced products for tonight’s tea, and the expansion of their Delish deli brand for food on the go.
Martin added: “Our store development ambitions include building new stores and redeveloping existing premises, while working with our independent partners to build upon their offerings and provide more choice and value for local communities.”
TO READ MARTIN’S INDUSTRY COMMENT IN THE 2023 NEIGHBOURHOOD RETAILER YEARBOOK, CLICK HERE