BWG Foods to invest €35m in Mace convenience store business

Retailer registered record sales of €400 million in 2023, an increase of 6.5 per cent

Wholesale group BWG Foods has announced a €35 million investment in its Mace retail business to support in-store improvements and marketing at the convenience franchise.

BWG Foods, ultimately owned by South African incorporated The Spar Group Limited, operates a number of retail and convenience brands in Ireland, including Mace as well as Spar, Eurospar, Londis and XL.

At a Mace retailer conference in Killarney this week, BWG revealed its Partners for Ambition strategy to 2027, including plans to invest €35 million in its Mace business over that period.

The announcement follows three years of “accelerated growth” for Mace, it said. A €28.5 million investment by BWG and Mace retailers from 2020 delivered cumulative growth of 41 per cent over three years.


BWG highlighted that Mace registered record sales of €400 million in 2023, a 6.5 per cent increase on 2022.

The company is forecasting growth of 5 per cent in 2024 for the Mace business, with expected retail sales of €420 million.

Keith Crawford, sales director with BWG Foods, said the €35 million investment would go towards improving in-store experiences, as well as overall marketing for the Mace brand.

“The bricks and mortar of our store design is one of the big parts of it, redevelopment with retailers,” he said. The new strategy would focus on Mace stores as a “pillar of a community”, and aim to invest in bringing “the customer service element, the staff and the retailer, to life a little bit more”.

He said that while growth and opening more Mace stores was always one of the company’s goals, the current funding was mostly targeted at its existing base of about 150 Mace stores across the country.

“Retailers in the last few years have invested heavily in Mace, as have BWG, so the theme of the strategy is around that successful partnership. It [the €35 million investment] is targeted on our existing base but we will of course try to grow over the next few years, that’s always part of every strategy,” he said.

Regarding growth in recent years, BWG said a “key factor” had been investment in Mace store redevelopments and investment in footfall driving departments such as the deli and off-licence offerings.

It has also invested in national advertising and targeted digital media campaigns, such as its partnership with brand ambassador Johnny Sexton. BWG said it would invest more than €1 million this year in a new marketing campaign featuring the former Irish rugby captain.

Ellen O'Regan

Ellen O’Regan

Ellen O’Regan is an Irish Times journalist.