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Good piece in Dublin's Sunday Tribune profiling Eamonn Quinn, deputy chairman of Superquinn and the son of industry legend Feargal Quinn, the chain's chairman and founder.

In the piece, Eamonn Quinn explains in grater detail the company's announcement last week that it will open 10 Superquinn Select c-stores over the next 18 months, with hopes that if the format pans out, it can have as many as 40 such stores in the not-too-distant future. Considering that Superquinn currently operates 19 stores at present, this means that the c-store format would have the potential of "transforming" the company…especially because the goal is to offer products there at the same prices charged in conventional Superquinn units. Quinn says he believes that while consumers want convenience, they are growing less willing to endure the "pain" of high prices.

Quinn also acknowledges that the company's earlier Super Q c-store chain was a failure, but believes that centralized distribution and its relationship with local distributor Stonehouse will give it the greater buying power to make the new concept work.

Other comments in the piece:

  • Superquinn is talking to French retailer Auchan about sourcing nonfood items.

  • The family has no plans to sell the company, despite rumors and speculation to the contrary.

  • Superquinn continues to look for locations in Galway and Cork for new large format stores. These locales would be new for the Dublin-based company.
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KC's View:
One of the things that we've always liked about Superquinn is that the company seems to be able to grapple with competitive pressures without letting the competition set the agenda. That's a tremendously difficult thing to do, especially when the likes of Tesco and Aldi are knocking on your door, threatening to take away sales.

But the Quinns always have had a sure sense of self, knowing what makes the company works, what appeals to their consumers, and how to keep their stores appealing and relevant. No small feat.

We'll be visiting a Superquinn store later today, and are likely to have some more thoughts as the week wears on.