Retailer plans to open a further 18 stores in 2022
Managing director Ian Allan said the retailer’s sales for this year were running “significantly ahead” of a wider 5-7 per cent contraction expected across the industry, but shoppers in its stores are “moving into more value offerings”, particular the company’s almost 1,000 lines of own-brand products.
While Kantar is reporting that price inflation across the sector is running at 4.5 per cent, Mr Allen said that at Centra it is about 3.5 per cent.
“We’re working with suppliers to continue to drive down those pressures with our offering,” said Mr Allen.
“The pressures on food and price on food is coming from energy cost increases and commodity prices, which can be directly linked to what’s happening in Ukraine, and labour issues.”
There are currently 483 Centra stores operating in Ireland, more than 90 per cent of which are independently owned. The company said there are plans to open a further 18 stores in 2022, involving an investment of €25 million and the creation of 430 jobs.
“The expansion programme is in addition to the 11 new Centra stores opened in 2021, and the €17 million deployed last year to revamp and refresh 64 existing stores,” the company said. “Centra supports over 38,000 jobs and directly employs 11,716 people.”
Irish consumer sentiment fell to an 18-month low in April as concerns about living costs intensified, KBC Bank Ireland said late last month, as households worried about their future spending plans and the worsening economic outlook generally.
The lender’s sentiment survey fell from 67 in March to 57.7 in April – well below its long-term average of 86.6.