Musgraves are planning a €30m investment into their Centra convenience retail brand, with plans to open 30 new stores. The retailer also plans to revamp a further 100 existing stores. The investment is expected to create 400 jobs.

The new stores will include eight greenfield sites while the remainder will be made up of retailers looking to take on the Centra brand, according to a spokeswoman for the brand.All of the new stores will be opened by the end of this year. The newly branded Centra stores will be spread across the country. Roughly 50 percent of the new jobs created will be as a result from the opening of greenfield sites.

The Centra brand was repositioned in 2016 as part of the “continued shift by consumers for healthier options”.In the past 12 months sales of the company’s “Grab & Go” sandwich range rose by 24 percent, impulse water purchases increased by 10 percent while salad box sales reached almost €2 million.The Frank and Honest Coffee brand, performed very strongly for the retailer, contributing to sales in the hot beverages category doubling in 2017. The coffee offering is currently available in 350 Centra stores and will be available in all the new stores.

“We are very happy with our performance in 2017 in what is an extremely competitive market. Our decision to reposition Centra in response to changing consumer trends, with customers increasingly choosing healthy options, has paid dividends,” said Martin Kelleher, Centra managing director. “We are well-positioned for the future with plans to open a further 30 Centra stores in 2018, highlighting the attractiveness of the Centra brand to independent retailers,” he added.

The retailer employs over 11,000 people in Ireland and has 450 stores.