Our hearts go out to the workers at Superquinn, which is to axe 400 jobs and close its store in Dundalk as part of a range of cost-cutting measures. According to The Irish Times:
The move, intended to cut €23 million from Superquinn’s cost base, is a response to declining sales, with cost-conscious consumers increasingly switching to German discounters Lidl and Aldi or shopping in Northern Ireland.
Superquinn staff were informed of the job cuts yesterday, with chief executive Simon Burke breaking the news to its 67 workers in Dundalk.
The store will close by the end of February. “We’ve been left with no alternative, sales have declined steadily there for the past 2½ years,” Mr Burke said in relation to Dundalk.
He said sales had declined by up to 25 per cent at the Dundalk shop in recent weeks as the euro strengthened against sterling. “We would be very clear that business was going across the Border.”
Superquinn and its trade unions will engage in a 30-day consultation process on how the restructuring will impact on the 3,300-strong workforce.
“Our bottom line will be to retain as many jobs as possible,” said Mandate assistant general secretary Gerry Light.
It’s interesting that they are the first of the big supermarkets in Ireland to be so publicly hit by the recession.
Does this mean that consumers are turning away from some of the higher-end and luxury brands offered by Superquinn, and opting for the less exclusive brands of Aldi and Lidl? With jobs being lost, should we feel guilty for shopping up North? And, at the risk of doing free market research for them, what do you want to see from our supermarkets?