Hamilton's SPAR Castlederg 3

Henderson Group has said it will invest £47m in new products ranges, and infrastructure in 2022, with retailers supported by a £5.3m marketing strategy for the year.

Retail director at Henderson Group, Mark McCammond, explained where the money will be invested: “Not only are we opening more large-format Eurospar supermarkets which provide market leading special offers and campaigns all year round, including matching over a thousand prices of products to Tesco, but we’re expanding the footprint and offering of our smaller format brands too. We have around 26 significant projects in the pipeline for 2022, plus four further new builds to commence that will open in 2023.”

This comes after a significant investment in community retailing in 2021, to the tune of £19.4m.

In total, 28 new company-owned and independent Spar, Eurospar, and ViVO stores and supermarkets opened across towns and villages in 2021, with Eurospar Clough (NI) being the final Henderson store to open last year. This pushed the retailer though the 100-store milestone, to 101.


Eurospar Clough

McCammond added: “At the end of 2020, we made a commitment to further invest in high quality community retailing across Northern Ireland to further meet the changed needs of our retailers and shoppers. Henderson Retail completed 20 significant projects in 2021, including the building and expansion of Eurospar supermarkets.”

The ViVO brand experienced double digit growth of 10% last year after the opening of 12 new stores, leading to an increase of 5% in retail sales, according to the group.

Paddy Doody, sales and marketing director at Henderson Group said: “Independent retailers know what their local shoppers want and that is to stay local and buy local, which they can provide thanks to our robust brand offering.

“Last year saw the UK’s largest Spar store open in Castlederg (pictured above) with experienced Spar retailers, Charlie and Ruth Hamilton, at the helm. It is a fresh foods superstore and new flagship store for the Hamilton’s who operate two other stores in the Mid-Ulster area. The impact the network of our company-owned and independent stores has on the industry is powerful and we have also experienced a record number of retailers converting from other convenience brands to Spar, Eurospar or ViVO brands in the past year.”

2021 also marked the 60th anniversary of Spar in Northern Ireland, and the Group honoured many of their retailers who were also marking business milestones throughout the year, including McGinn’s Spar in Killyclogher which opened in 1961 and rebranded as a Spar ten years later.

Other retailers who celebrated milestone anniversaries included Lecky’s Vivoxtra for 50 years, Clarke’s ViVO in Rostrevor for 40 years and Gilroy’s Spar in Garrison for 30 years.

Henderson Wholesale now supplies to over 500 stores across Northern Ireland, and claims to provide an unrivalled offering of locally sourced produce and products from the fields and farms of local suppliers, at a time when supply chains are under pressure.

Doody continued; “Our long-term local sourcing strategy has allowed us to take a strong advantage against the multiples who are suffering with delays and shortages due to the NI protocol. Over 75% of our fresh food is sourced from local farmers and suppliers, which is not only better for the environment in keeping food miles low, but also for our economy to help local producers develop, expand and provide local employment.”