SuperValu, Ireland’s biggest grocer, generated record sales of €2.6bn sales last year, driven by online shopping and a strong festive trading period.
The chain recently affirmed its position at the top end of the sector, overtaking Tesco with 25% market share.
“We are pleased to announce that we have achieved a new sales milestone in what is a highly competitive marketplace,” said MD Martin Kelleher.
“The fact that we are the largest grocery retailer in Ireland clearly illustrates that we have the best offer in the market, with consumers responding to our commitment to fresh food leadership and opting for locally-sourced, quality Irish food.”
The retailer’s online customer base accounts for around 2% to 3% of overall sales.
“We’re not trying to replace shoppers coming into shops – it’s an ‘and’ rather than an ‘or’,” Kelleher told the Irish Independent.
It is understood that an in-store coffee brand for both takeaway and possibly in-store consumption is being considered although Kelleher declined to reveal further details until the project has been refined.
Kelleher also insisted that remaining at the top is not his priority.
“It’s a nice outcome, but it’s not the be-all and end-all,” he said. “It’s about being as good as we can be. If you keep doing that, the number one will look after itself. We don’t get a beating on the stockmarket if these things change. It’s about long-term sustainability.”
The chain, owned by Musgrave, will open five new stores this year at an investment cost of €28m.