SuperValu: How a brave local brand defied the forces of globalisation

Agency: DDFH&B

Introduction & Background

This is a story about long term effectiveness. It is a story about how a brave local retailer with daring ambition wrestled back leadership from Tesco and defied the forces of globalisation.

SuperValu was founded in 1979 with a base of just 16 stores, mainly in Munster. While they had grown to 182 stores by 2004, and acquired Superquinn (another Irish retailer) in 2011, they were a retailer with two speeds, an urban speed and a rural speed.

The urban speed was still reeling from the Superquinn takeover, when stores were rebranded to SuperValu in 2014. Superquinn had a more premium brand perception, much closer to the Waitrose proposition in the UK. Consumers were in a state of chassis as they felt they were paying convenience store prices in large supermarkets and were unfamiliar with the brand and mistrustful of its quality.