Retail area manager for Amber Charleville, Micheal O’Sullivan, sings the praises of the impressive range at the site’s Costcutter to Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer
It has only been opened since February 2016 but, already, the Costcutter outlet at Amber Charleville has become a star store for the symbol group.
Its formidable talents were highlighted on the store’s first birthday earlier this year when X-Factor judge Louis Walsh made an appearance, praising the store for its outstanding performance.
Also singing its praises was Michael O’Sullivan, area manager for Amber Charleville, and a huge fan of Costcutter’s professionalism and attractiveness for the modern consumer.
“It was a well-known spot and a thriving fuel station,” Michael told Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer.
“Amber had an interest in the site for some time and bought it around March 2015. It took seven months to redevelop it. It has a lot of passing trade given its location on the outskirts of Charleville town, and it is especially busy from Monday to Friday.”
“It’s also situated along the main road to Limerick, on the Cork side of Charleville. It’s a big store with 3,000 square foot internally. There’s also around 100 car parking spaces.”
Michael explained the site has received a lot of local support, and has become somewhat of a showcase for Costcutter.
“Costcutter regularly bring trainee managers and staff to the store for a tour, so it’s sort of a show house for the brand,” he said. “It’s one of the symbol group’s most modern stores and has helped really solidify their reach.”
The standout image of the Amber site is well complemented by the modern and sophisticated design of the Costcutter store inside.
It’s a dynamic duo that attracted Red FM to its birthday celebrations in February where Mr Walsh made his appearance amid three hours of fun and face painting for the local community.
“Costcutter provided a lot of support with that,” Michael said. “Their continued efforts have really helped push the business on with Costcutter giving us a lot of support with promotions.”
According to Michael, one of the store’s other big attractions is the bakery section.
“We make our own muffins, cakes, carrot cake and scones,” he explained. “They’re going very well and located right at the entrance of the store. It’s also a good location for the coffee dock. It’s easy for the commuters to grab and go, and currently we serve around 4,000 teas and coffees a week.”
Michael explained the speed of service was an important part of the Costcutter model at Charleville, with a similar approach applied to the store’s expansive deli.
“There could be 20-30 people lined up but we get through them very quickly,” he said. “The offer is simple – a freshly prepared sandwich at a reasonable price.”
The food offer at the store is wide and varied, with a sit down area, a carvery option, and now even a Four Star Pizza in-store franchise.
“The sit down carvery, can do 400 covers a week,” Michael said. “We’re now able to cater for all parts of the day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’ve also brought in a Four Star Pizza franchise serving from Monday to Sunday until 12 midnight, and making deliveries as well!”
Michael explained that the range of offer provided by the Costcutter outlet has made the site a “destination shop”, offering a high-level of comfort in a bright and welcoming environment.
“People come in to relax, enjoy the food and the free wifi, and have voted with their feet,” he said. “We’re currently making over 12,000 transactions a week between fuel and the shop.”
Our ultra-modern car wash facility has also just been launched on the forecourt to fully complete the customer offering.
“There is really good value to be had with the Amber and Costcutter partnership at the site,” he added. “We don’t overprice, and have a value message that is very important to both brands.
“The site continues to trade strongly, it continues to move forward, and Costcutter are very pleased with that.”
This is a viewpoint certainly shared by the Managing Director of Barry Group – Costcutter’s parent company – Jim Barry.
“We’re delighted with our partnership with Amber and the store in Charleville is a fantastic example of the great working relationship between our two companies,” he said.
In business for over 60 years, Barry Group is one of the leading wholesale distribution companies in Ireland. Operating from a state of the art headquarters in Mallow, Co Cork, Barry Group is responsible for the Costcutter, Carry Out Off Licence and Quik Pick symbol groups and services a vast number of independent clients across the country.
“We pride ourselves on our relationships with our retailer partners and the store in Charleville is a great example of that. We are constantly challenging ourselves to provide the very best for our retail partners and retailers know we are always available to help them with whatever they need” Jim Barry continued.
The commitment to improvement can be seen in Barry Group’s award winning start to the year. The company was named as both a Great Place to Work and as one of Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies.
“These awards are great vindication of the strategies and processes we’ve put in place,” said Jim Barry. “We use these awards to constantly challenge our standards and this is reflected in our store offerings”
It’s certainly reflected in the Amber Costcutter Charleville location. A store that is brimming with options and quality and a store that will undoubtedly continue to grow.
Our above image shows Edwina Lucy, Sales Director Barry Group, alongside managing director Jim Barry, chairman Liam Fitzgerald, and managing directors of Amber Gerry Condon and Kevin Rice