Superquinn jobs in Castletroy are saved

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

UP to 100 jobs have been saved at Superquinn’s Castletroy branch after the supermarket chain was sold to Musgrave’s.

UP to 100 jobs have been saved at Superquinn’s Castletroy branch after the supermarket chain was sold to Musgrave’s.

There were fears for up to 2,900 jobs nationally after Superquinn went into receivership on Monday night.

But early yesterday morning, it emerged the Cork-based Musgrave Group had stepped in to save the chain.

The move will protect the jobs and employment conditions of all the staff here in Limerick, and nationally.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval from the Competition Authority, because Musgrave already operates a range of brands including SuperValu, Centra and Daybreak.

Fianna Fail’s spokesperson on enterprise, jobs and innovation, Willie O’Dea welcomed the news.

“My priority is that the jobs are maintained. There are competition implications obviously, due to the reduction of the number of players in the market. This is something the Minister will have to deal with. A lot of this will be dealt with in the Consumer and Competition Bill which is on the government’s agenda, but we don’t know when they will produce this plan,” he told the Limerick Leader.

UL risk management graduate Darragh Bourke, who heads up No Limit Entertainments, worked for Superquinn for six years.

He said he felt the company over-extended itself just before the collapse in the property market.

“When Feargal Quinn sold the company in 2005, it was backed by a number of property developers, including Bernard McNamara. At the time, Select Retail Holdings had big plans for the company - to redevelop all the stores, and secure a new image. But what they didn’t envisage was the impending property crash. One of its major bad investments was its partnership with Permanent TSB. This was a complete loss,” he explained.

Mr Bourke also said that the company used to buy a lot of its supplies from the O’Mara’s bacon company, which was based in Thomas Street.

In a statement, Musgrave’s chief executive Chris Martin said: “This purchase secures the jobs of 2,800 people and on completion of the sale process, Musgrave intends to invest in the stores and work with the employees to develop the future of the business. This supports our growth agenda and will sustain our competitiveness. We are looking forward to working with the Superquinn team to develop the future of the business”