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Tirlán begins €11 million investment across its branch network

John Murphy; CEO, Jim Bergin; retail marketing manager, Grace O’Dwyer and head of retail at Tirlán, Senan Foley. Picture Dylan Vaughan.

Part of a range of measures to future-proof its agri, retail and garden centre services in rural communities

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12 January 2023 | 0

Tirlán, formerly Glanbia Ireland, has begun an €11 million investment programme to develop and upgrade its entire 52-strong local branch network, with work in its Athboy, Castlelyons and Bunclody stores already underway.

The 100% farmer-owned Co-op says the landmark investment package is part of a range of measures to future-proof its agri, retail and garden centre services in rural communities across 11 counties.

The branch improvements are part of Tirlán’s commitment to serving the evolving needs of its loyal customers in rural communities into the future. It also clearly demonstrates its promise to support local jobs and rural economies, as outlined in the Co-op’s ‘Living Proof’ sustainability strategy.

The €11 million plan will also include a significant upgrading of branch IT infrastructure with new technologies that will make the overall customer experience more enjoyable and efficient.

Tirlán chairman John Murphy said that its branches are the heartbeat of many local communities and this investment signifies the Co-op’s commitment to playing its part in enriching the lives of those living in rural Ireland.

“As a farmer-owned co-operative, Tirlán is committed to developing a modern network of stores that service the evolving needs of farmers and the communities we serve,” he said. “We will be developing and upgrading our branches over the next 4-5 years and adding new Tirlán CountryLife garden centres at our existing branches in both Athboy Co. Meath and Bennettsbridge in Co Kilkenny.

“We will improve the customer experience across all our branches in order to better service the evolving needs of our customers in communities,” he continued. “Many of these communities have lost their local post office, shops and other services in recent years and we aim to play our part in ensuring they remain vibrant and self-sufficient.”

The first new concept store revamp in Bunclody will be completed in early 2023, Senan Foley, head of retail at Tirlán explained. “Our 52-strong branch network is the face of Tirlán in our communities. They are more than just an agri store. Today, our branch network provides critical services in a setting that many of our shareholders, suppliers and customers have a strong affiliation with locally.

“Over a year ago, we partnered with An Post subsidiary PostPoint to bring a range of convenient services to rural communities. Today’s announcement is part of a wider investment programme that will not only further enhance our offering to customers, but also expand our role in the community.

“As our investment plan begins, we’re open to more local partnership ideas with third parties to help make our rural communities even more sustainable into the future.”

Phase one of the investment programme sees stores in Ashford, Monasterevin, Castlelyons, Athboy and Bennettsbridge undergo significant renovations. Followed by phase two branches in Dungarvan, Kilmeaden and Tullamore.

Tirlán’s new branding will be rolled out across the reinvigorated network. This rebrand, which is already underway, will see agri stores rebranded to ‘Tirlán FarmLife’, and agri stores with garden centres rebranded to ‘Tirlán CountryLife’.

Further investment is being rolled out in areas such as people development and training, along with development of Farm Hardware Centres of Excellence.

The investment programme was unveiled at the first of Tirlán’s regional Farmer Information Meetings. They continue this and next week. They take place in Kilkenny’s Newpark Hotel on 12 January 12 and in The Killeshin in Portlaoise, Co Laois, on 16 January.

Meetings continue in The Ardboyne Hotel in Navan on 17 January at 11am and an online session for those unable to travel runs that evening at 7.30pm. The final regional Farmer Information Meeting runs in Enniscorthy’s Riverside on Wednesday, 18 January, also at 11am.

For further details and to register for the online session, log on to www.tirlanfarmlife.com

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