Going for growth in convenience
retailing, Circle K and Dublin
I started browsing at the airport and was not
disappointed as I came across a unit offering hot
food and a deli counter, the likes of which you
would expect to see in a affluent county town,
well-staffed, with extremely happy friendly people
behind the counter who ‘to be sure’ almost make
you want to order something else to enjoy the
experience for a second time.
Next stop was a Spar shop, or to be more
specific a Gold Spar shop, in the centre of Dublin,
which I believe has won an award locally for its
fresh food offer. It’s best described as a grocery,
coffee shop, sandwich bar and delicatessen
wrap, as it has the best of all those features rolled
into one. The quality of the food on offer really
impressed me and the innovation of the freshly
made bagels and pastries was quite outstanding.
Everything looked like it had just been placed into
position at that exact moment.
If you didn’t like anything on display at this premium
Spar location, a freshly made, whatever you
want, can be made for customers at the far end
of the counter, by someone with a an extremely
eager face, fired up and ready to help. A god send
you might say when looking for that extra service,
which always seems to make the difference. Then
there are the huge semi-circular display cabinets
boasting huge ranges of healthy food options, almost
reaching out to customers as they enter the
store, inviting them to buy one of the many salad
options, fruit bowls, granola desserts or healthy
drinks. I had a bottle of elderflower juice.
If I had walked around Dublin all day, I don’t
think I would have seen a better example of convenience
store excellence, so I took a few photos
shown here and set course for the conference
I had come to see, which was being staged in a
downtown Dublin hotel, The Clayton.
Dublin as a destination will feature on most
people’s tick lists as it has fun written all over it,
but visitors need to savour the Irish capital rather
than go head first into its perceived ‘have a good
time’ reputation, so as to avoid coming back disappointed.
When I first walked down the steps of a
Ryanair plane onto the tarmac of Dublin airport
many years ago, I almost expected some friendly
unknown person would offer to drive me into town
and drop me off at some local bar, where the conversation,
drink and River dance music would flow
all evening for free! Well it wasn’t quite like that,
but once I had paid the cab, found my hotel and
by Nick Needs
Being in Dublin this month for Ireland’s Convenience Retailer Summit, gave me
the opportunity to see for myself exactly what Irish fuel stations and high street
c-stores have been getting up to of late.
The semi-circle diplay
cabinets at the Spar
The Spar Gold store in
Dublin City Centre.
Damian Byrne, Head of
Franchise Retail Sales at
former Vice Presdient
of Reitan Convenience.
A newly branded Circle K
site in Ireland.