BWG Foods continues to provide professional development opportunities – BWG Academy moves online

BWG Foods continues to provide professional development opportunities – BWG Academy moves online
BWG Foods hosted Ireland's biggest ever online event for retailers

1,272 Retailers and Staff achieve industry-recognised qualifications since March 2020

BWG Foods, one of Ireland’s leading retail groups, has continued to provide vital training and upskilling for its independent retailers through the Covid-19 pandemic by reimagining its pioneering employee professional development initiative, BWG Academy, to a wholly online training and education resource.

BWG Academy

The BWG Academy, which was officially launched in 2019 just before advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, was designed to provide a wide range of self-development and support programmes for the over 23,000 retail employees across SPAR, EUROSPAR, Londis, MACE and XL store networks. Within weeks of the official launch Ireland slid rapidly into anti-virus restrictions and, as it became ever clearer that uncertainty surrounding the longevity of social distancing measures and that even more stringent restrictions were likely, the need to transform BWG Foods’ educational programme was embraced.

Retail Ireland Skillnet

Living up to its billing as an innovator, in conjunction with Retail Ireland Skillnet, BWG Foods developed a solution and training quickly pivoted to a sophisticated eLearning platform, which facilitates remote based self-development programmes. From March 2020 to date, a significant 1,272 BWG Retailers, and their staff, have received industry-recognised qualifications from a series of courses and workshops run by the BWG Academy.

The five courses that were delivered are wholly online, self-paced and very appropriate to the current trading environment as a designated essential service provider.

  • Lead Worker Representative
  • Retail Customer Service
  • Retail Digital Marketing
  • Retail Selling Skills
  • Safety and Health at Work


Peter Donohoe, Chief People Officer, BWG said, “Our retailers take their role as providers of an essential service to their communities very seriously and have continued to upskill throughout the Covoid-19 pandemic by embracing our online curriculum. One of the advantages throughout this time is that they can complete their training in their own time and according to their own schedules, which are busier than ever due to the operating environment. We have worked closely with Retail Ireland Skillnet to provide their innovative and important courses to our vast network of over 1,000 stores and have been delighted with the response from our retailers and their employees.”

BWG Academy will continue to operate courses and workshops on an online basis until such time as restrictions allow for a return to more recognisable blend of online and in-person learning at the Academy’s dedicated, Dublin based, training and education centre.