Londis was delighted to welcome Kathleen and Jim McConnon to the Londis family in 2018. We spoke to Jim McConnon about the new developments and changes in this family store.
For over 50 years, the McConnon family have owned and operated the store in Old Cross Square, Co Monaghan. Kathleen and Jim’s parents bought the adjourning bar in 1978 and ran both for 15 years before making the decision to close the bar in 2016.
“They felt that the community needed the shop more and so we have focused fully on the grocery business since 2016. Kathleen and I grew up with the business, working in the shop throughout the years alongside our three other siblings. We have always had a passion for the business and we now run the shop together along with our excellent team of staff.”
In 2018 Jim and Kathleen decided the time was right to join a leading Irish retail brand.
Joining the Londis family
Kathleen and Jim put a lot of thought into their decision on which brand to join before deciding Londis was the right choice to bring their family store into a new era of retailing.
“We researched where they should go with the store and met several groups. But after meeting Declan Boyle we were confident Londis was the right choice for their store. Nothing was a problem – the guidance, support and expertise was great and Londis shared our vision of vibrancy and freshness.”
The Londis brand is delighted to have the McConnon’s join our growing family of stores.
“From the very first meeting with Jim and Kathleen it was immediately obvious that they would fit perfectly into our extended family,” said Conor Hayes, Londis Sales Director. “Londis retailers are warm, friendly and take great pride in delivering fabulous service and quality to their local communities and shoppers. The McConnon’s have been serving the people of Monaghan since 1964 and, as the newest members of our Londis family; I am excited that they will continue to do so as McConnon’s Londis Monaghan.”
As well as joining a new retail brand, the McConnon’s also decided the time was right for another big change and they began the journey of revamping their store.
The McConnons pulled out all the stops to transform their store into the state of the art retail space that it is today. The old bar that their parents closed in 2016 was demolished and this space was used for a disability toilet and a new seating area that accommodates 20 people. The new store also includes a new Londis DELI with a self-serve chicken bar, Smooch Ice Cream and Bewley’s Coffee offering.
“Everything was revamped, from the ceiling to the tiling. We are delighted with the results. The store has a much more modern look and feel and really strong fresh food offering which is increasingly important with our customers. The reaction we have had from customers has been great, they are really impressed with the new stores.”
The store extended their opening hours following the revamp which resulted in the need to recruit extra staff. McConnon’s Londis now provides employment to 17 people locally.
The importance of convenience
According to Jim, convenience is hugely important to customers today and having the new seating area has given a great boost to this sector.
“Convenience is imperative to our business. Our customers are busier than ever and need quality, fresh food on the go. Our hot and cold convenience sector is a big revenue generator for our business and the demand continues to grow.”
Jim and Kathleen have found the BWG Fresh Foods team to be a great support in this area.
“The Fresh Foods team in BWG Foods have been an excellent resource in this regard and helped us to develop our fresh food area. The extended Londis team have been great in working with us so far across all aspects of the business so we are optimistic that the business will continue to grow with this support.”
With the store’s new branding and revamp complete, the McConnon’s show no signs of slowing down and are looking ahead to future trends and development of their business.
“We are always open to new technologies and ideas that could help to develop our business. The advancement of online services is definitely going to be a game changer and we are currently focusing on developing our social media presence.”
We would like to wish Jim and Kathleen the best of luck and continued success with their store.