7 Reasons Why Dunnes is the Superior Irish Supermarket

By Melanie Romero / January 8, 2021
Irish supermarket

According to the latest figures from Kantar in November 2020, Dunnes – the beloved Irish supermarket with locations in Ireland and formerly in Scotland and England – claims the highest share of the Irish grocery market. Coming in at 22.2%, Dunnes has soared in sales across the grocery sector, beating out competitors and becoming the Irish supermarket of your dreams.

But, although these numbers define Dunnes as the most popular Irish supermarket, bear in mind there are many other reasons (apart from business figures and maths calculations) that make Dunnes a stronghold across Ireland. From house essentials and their own collection label to an unusual (but strategic) layout and “luxury” retailing, Dunnes is the Irish supermarket to be to get more than just your typical groceries.

Dunnes supermarket

High-End Retail

I grew up going to Dunnes thinking that it was only a supermarket. But, nope, it’s also a high-end retail store. And, you may be asking, how in the world is Dunnes high-end retail now? Gone were the days in the 1980s when Dunnes was considered cheap and forgotten. The retail giant, in recent news, has joined forces with beloved, world-renowned designers in creating a fashionable clothing line; the chain has taken another step in its transformation into a high-end store by signing Helen Steele, the Monaghan-born sportswear designer.

Who thought I could get my favorite cheese and fashionable leggings all in one place?              

Unusual Layout

Most Dunnes are unusually laid out, the aisles switching seamlessly from soups and soaps to mouthwash and cheese. No, it’s not a figment of your imagination; this is just the brilliant (albeit confusing) strategy Dunnes has taken on to make their customers not leave their store empty-handed.

New merchandise is oftentimes set up in the front to entice shoppers into the store, but, for the regulars, Dunnes mismatches the food aisles with the toiletries sections to make customers reconsider their groceries list. I can’t think of any time I haven’t been in a Dunnes for a takeaway salad only to stop in my tracks and buy an item in the beauty section too.

In-Store Food Hall

Not every Irish supermarket contains an in-store food hall, but the Dunnes’ I’ve visited (most particularly the one in Swords) should be celebrated for their lush offerings. The first time I visited the in-store food hall, I was blown away by the colorful selections behind the glass cases. I ended up getting a meal deal, which consisted of two choices of salads and a sandwich.

As I ate my meal, I was happy to know the food provenance of every single item on my platter (all Irish-grown) and the freshness of everything I had ordered. I felt like Dunnes was keeping true to its Irish roots by selecting farmers and vendors from Ireland and keeping the delicacy of local foods alive by offering them for sale at the food hall.

Simply Better Labelling

Don’t get me started on Dunnes’s own personal food label, Simply Better. Dunnes Store Simply Better Collection was announced best in Ireland for the second year in a row. Can you believe it? Dunnes won the much-coveted “Own Label Brand of the Year” Award at the Food & Drink Business Awards. It was mentioned to be the “premium tier food collection presented under the Dunnes Store private label.” There are no words to explain the luxurious deliciousness of its Sticky Toffee Pudding; that item deserves all the love.

Favoritism in Rankings

With Kantar’s in-depth analytics of the supermarkets with high popularity and soaring shares, it is transparent that Dunnes has taken the lead. Slowly, but surely, Dunnes has turned away from its super-value iconicity to becoming posh and foodie. It has overtaken SuperValu, Tesco, Aldi, and Lidl, showcasing its growing popularity despite its rise toward being more expensive and modern. The Irish have spoken: Dunnes is the favorite! The graphs show their growth against all other odds.

Multiple Locations

Dunnes used to formerly operate in England and Scotland; now, it only has foundations in, obviously, Ireland, as well as Spain. Even though the number of Dunnes stores has dwindled, the company has surpassed its difficulties in Great Britain and become more transparent in its home country. By the start of the millennium, Dunnes grew to more than 120 stores across all of Ireland.

Dunnes supermarket

Delicious Offerings

Dunnes is, by far, superior to other Irish supermarkets solely on its selections and offerings. You can’t go wrong with their seasonal soups, fresh cheeses, and home-grown delicacies. Dunnes has slowly transitioned from its super-value image to become a stronghold for upscale Irish food brands.

In visiting Ireland, I always make it a priority to stop by Dunnes Stores. It might look like your usual Irish supermarket, but there’s more to this chain than meets the eye – just take their Simply Better Irish Made Tomato & Basil Soup into consideration! With this only (and the reasons mentioned above), Dunnes has every Irish supermarket story beat in this competition.

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About the author

Melanie Romero

Melanie Romero is a creative writer and college student based in Orange County, California. When she’s not overworking herself to meet a deadline, she can be found drinking an iced chai at her local organic café, making sufganiyot from scratch, or collecting paperbacks.

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