With 30 outlets located across the country and an increasing online market presence the growth of Sam McCauley’s Chemists Group is something of a major success story.
The company was founded in 1953 in Enniscorthy in County Wexford and has grown exponentially over the last 60 years, and over the last number of weeks the possibility of the company being floated on the Irish Stock Exchange has been suggested as the future direction for the company.
Regardless of whether or not the company does float, their success and growth to date is something to be hugely commended. Sam McCauley’s employ more than 570 staff with a broad store presence in Carlow, Cavan, Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow coupled with strong online retail sales the annual turnover is in excess of Euro 80M.
Executive Chairman of the company Sam McCauley has further future growth and a strong vision in mind for the business, stating that the board is looking at ways to expand the business even further and may even consider listing the business on the Irish Stock Exchange.
Mr. McCauley said, ‘I don’t see any reason why an Irish pharmacy group can’t hold the same position as Musgraves or Dunnes Stores in the grocery market, in other words be right there with the market leaders.’
‘We’re on their heels but there is a gap. I see a unique opportunity for a uniquely Irish model.’
The company outlines that it is targeting revenues of €90 million next year which will exceed its pre-recession turnover although this will be over a larger number of stores.
Patrick McCormack, a native of Wexford is managing director of pharmacy chain, speaking on the Irish retail landscape Patrick says, “The retail landscape is ever-changing and if you think things have moved on a lot from the days when mail-order shopping was the only way to order goods for delivery and information technology in most outlets amounted to a cash register, then brace yourself for the next few years.
Patrick predicts major changes in the coming years and decades regarding how we buy and sell products but is also optimistic about the retail sector, both in Wexford and further afield.
“Last year there was a noticeable increase in retail spending, which was very welcome. People felt they had a bit more cash in their pockets and there was more confidence out there,” Patrick McCormack says. “There’s a feeling that we’re out of the worst of it and that’s great because when Mrs Murphy starts to spend that extra tenner, it goes around and around and around.”
Patrick says Sam McCauley’s group is hugely confident about the future and there are plans for more new Sam McCauley’s stores in the coming year while the group are spending millions on upgrading some of their existing outlets, including a major re-fit of the Enniscorthy shop.
Between multiple stores in Wexford town along with Bunclody, Enniscorthy and New Ross, the county accounts for eight of the group’s 30 current outlets.
According to Patrick, “Even though over the next five years dramatic changes will be seen in terms of how people shop. Not only will people be doing much more of their shopping online, they will be using mobile devices to do so, rather than home computers. There will always be a place for the “bricks and mortar” stores, across all sectors of the retail game, and Wexford remains an attractive place for people who want to sell.”
“Wexford as a town has a great mix of small, local indigenous businesses and offers a great mixture to people, with a lot of the big chains operating there as well. The fact that there hasn’t been development of out-of-town or edge-of-town shopping centres has been a key to keeping the heart of Wexford in the town. I would have to take my hat off to the council for avoiding that happening in Wexford. The character of Wexford as an old, Viking, town centre with narrow streets has been maintained and it’s got a great feel to it.”
“I drive around the country visiting a lot of towns, because we’re always looking at new opportunities, and I would have to say Wexford compares very favourably to most of those towns.”
He feels that its coastal setting and port history means that Wexford has always been a welcoming place to outsiders and visitors, while the lifestyle is “second to none” in the area. “No matter where you’re working or based in Wexford, you’re never going to have a long commute. In terms of getting property to live in, it’s very affordable and there’s a good mix. There are great restaurants and great pubs and a great social life and an awful lot of activities going on, both water-based activities and land-based activities.”
“It’s a good time to be in business in Wexford”, Patrick McCormack says.
Wexford County Council has a dedicated team dealing with start-ups along with existing and expanding businesses that are considering investing in Wexford. The team offers supports and advice around property solutions including ready-to-go office developments; build-and-design options plus services to assist in streamlining planning applications, which have the potential to create jobs in the county. The service is available to all businesses; if you would like to discuss an expansion of your business or moving your business to Wexford, please feel free to get in touch. For further details see www.investwexford.ie