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Superquinn, the legendary Irish retailer, announced that it is combining its buying functions with Stonehouse, Ireland’s biggest independent wholesaler group, in order to increase their clout in the retail market. They have formed a joint buying venture with combined annual sales that are the equivalent of about $2 billion (US).

The new entity, Aontas Grocery & Food Services Limited, is designed to enable both companies to command better discounts that will allow them to price goods more competitively at retail level.

Superquinn’s Executive Chairman Senator Feargal Quinn said, “This will transform Superquinn’s buying power by bringing us into a new, bigger league. As a group with only 19 shops, we compete with multinationals who buy for several hundred outlets. Strategically, we want to combine the responsiveness of a small, customer-driven company with the buying power of a larger player.”

Stonehouse Chief Executive Tom Shipsey said: “This exciting and progressive partnership will help us to combat the influx of multiples and discount retailers from overseas. As a group that consists of family-run, Irish-owned businesses, we have deep roots in a sector that provides great strength to the domestic economy.”

Damien Carolan, Superquinn’s Purchasing Director, added, “We already benefit in Europe-wide buying through our membership of AMS, an international buying alliance of ten top retailers. Coming together with Stonehouse in Aontas is a further big step in extending our buying power, and gives us the muscle to deliver better value to our customers.”

Stonehouse has a network of 55 depots nationwide and employs over 1,400 people, serving the retail, wholesale and catering sectors.
KC's View:
No matter how successful and legendary it happens to be, Superquinn is smart enough to know that you can’t stop looking for new engles and fresh advantages. This deal makes a lot of sense.