Domino's Pizza plans 25 more Irish outlets

Domino's Pizza is planning to open a further 25 take-away outlets in Ireland in the coming years.

The quick-service restaurant chain opened one Irish outlet last year, bringing its total stores here to 50.

Last year, Domino's acquired a 15% stake in its main Irish franchisee, for €12.5m, which it said "lays the foundation for further store openings in Ireland".

That franchisee, Shorecal Ltd, operates 28 Domino's outlets across the island of Ireland. It has plans to open 10 more outlets over the next four years.

Six of them will be in the Republic, with the remaining four set for the North.

Overall, including via other franchisees, Domino's sees the opportunity for 25 more openings in Ireland in the coming years, albeit with no firm timeframe attributed to that outlook.

"We still see ample opportunity to raise store numbers {in Ireland] to 75 over time. The Irish economy has recovered strongly and the casual dining market is booming," the group said.

Domino's grew its revenue by 14.5% to £534.3m (€621.5m) last year.

Group systems sales - which take in its cut from franchisee sales - jumped 9% to almost £1.26bn.

The UK and Ireland account for 90% of its sales. Combined systems sales for the UK and Ireland grew by 7% last year.

Like-for-like sales growth of 4% was generated across its Irish store network.

"Our performance in the Republic was steady this year, with a much stronger second half compensating for a slow start to the year," the company said.

Domino's described 2018 as "a mixed year" with its international division showing losses of over £4m.

It was profitable in Germany and Iceland, but continued to be loss-making in Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.

In terms of outlook, the company said it remains "well set for profitable growth" this year.

Online remained a big driver of core growth in 2018, with nearly 80% of order value, and almost 90% of volume, coming from online, Domino's said.

A separate report by PwC shows the trend towards online and mobile shopping is growing; with the amount of Irish consumers saying they buy online at least weekly up from 25% to 30% in the past 12 months.

It also showed social media to be a key purchasing influencer and a doubling to 20% of the amount of people who buy products from their smartphones.

"While the store remains front of mind, it remains under pressure from online competition," said PwC Ireland's retail and consumer chief John Dillon.

"The need for stores to create a compelling proposition has never been greater. Stores need to constantly evolve and innovate in order to satisfy consumers who are clearly interested in store shopping albeit in a different way. Retailers need to rethink how they engage with customers while fully embedding technology in every element of their business models," he said.

PwC's survey also found that nearly 90% of consumers are willing to pay extra for the delivery of goods.

"The integration of the store and the online environment is a real business challenge that all retailers and brands are facing. Seamless integration of both is key to future success and getting it right is imperative," said PwC Ireland's Owen McFeely.

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