Armagh city centre boosted with Emerson’s refurbishment complete
STANDFIRST: In the heart of Armagh is one of our region’s oldest independent supermarkets. With a £2million refurbishment now complete, Gavin Emerson looks to the future in the heart of Armagh
Life is getting back to normal following the completion of a £2million refurbishment of Emerson’s Supermarket – a 125 year old supermarket in the hub of Armagh city centre.
In May 2014, the family run supermarket began a refurbishment programme which has since secured 150 new jobs, brought life back into Armagh’s historic city centre as well as placing value on customer experience which is making shopping easy and enjoyable for Emerson’s customers.
It’s been a lot of hard work for the owner and his staff as a lot of upheaval to allow for construction has meant a lot of changes within the supermarket.
But with diggers and hard hats out the door, Emerson’s Supermarket and Wine Store are open for business with a variety of additions which are bringing value for money and added value namely the addition of Uluru Bar & Grill and also the relocation of the city’s Post Office. As well as that the company has introduced its first ever ‘Click and Collect’ service through its new e-commerce site designed by PointFour.
With four main elements at Emerson’s Supermarket, shoppers, workers, families and tourists are being drawn back into the city centre where they are guaranteed value for money, good customer service a variety of locally sourced produce and a cosmopolitan restaurant where customers can enjoy a variety of food and drink, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Over a latte and a freshly baked morning scone, Mr Emerson said: “It has been a major journey for us all over the past year. Our staff have been brilliant. There’s no doubt there has been upheaval but everyone carried on with their jobs with enthusiasm.
“It’s not an easy undertaking as this project was a mammoth task which required focus, investment, strategic planning and a vision for growth. We appointed Moss Construction, which is another Armagh company, so we were delighted to keep the overall works programme to benefit people living and working in the district area.
“Everything we do is about putting our customers first. This has always been vital to our success to date and this will remain the case. For 125 years Emerson’s Supermarket has been serving people in the Armagh city and district area and this investment shows our commitment to being an employer, being a service provider and making a contribution to the local economy.
“Further to this our new click and collect service offers our customers even further convenience whether they are shopping in the supermarket or The Wine Store. We also have introduced self service tills which enables people to do their shopping more conveniently.”
Like many independently owned supermarkets in Northern Ireland, Emerson’s Supermarket aims to sell produce which, where possible, is locally grown. Mark Bell, the manager of the fresh fruit and vegetable section, is responsible for sourcing the store’s produce so it is high on his agenda to pick up locally grown, in season produce to support local farmers as much as possible.
Equally as much effort is placed on the quality of the store’s new butchery. The butchery is only one of a few in Northern Ireland which boasts a dry aged salt room where meats are hung in clear view of the customer who can see that the meat is fresh and hung for 28 days. What makes the dry aged salt room even more special is the fact it has Himalayan rock salt on the back wall which gives the meat a unique flavour.
Mr Emerson said: “There are only a few people in Northern Ireland who have this so we are pushing forward with this and we will continue to innovate. Our team of butchers, who are led by Head Butcher Philip Agnew, are very proud of what is being achieved at the new butchery counter.”
While putting quality food on families’ tables is a must for Emerson’s, so too is being able to sell a wide variety of craft beers and ciders from its own Wine Store.
Mr Emerson said: “The Wine Store is a big pull for our store because of our vast selection of wines, craft beers and spirits which of course can now be bought over the counter or by customers using our click and collect service.”
But a major coup for Emerson’s Supermarket is the relocation of Uluru – an award winning Australian restaurant where Head Chef and Sydney ex-pat, Dean Coppard, has built up a fantastic following due to the authenticity of his cuisine. The team in Uluru have been grafting night and day to ensure the new restaurant, which now serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, was ready to open its doors to an eager public.
The move to its new look premises has create 25 new jobs including chefs and front of house staff and, if early signs are indicative of what’s to come, there’s a potential for more job creation.
Speaking about the team’s achievement’s, Dean Coppard said: “Since our doors opened the feedback has been immensely satisfying which is testament to the hard work put in by our team, the authenticity of our cooking, our attention to customer service and our drive to give people an eating establishment which offers customers a great dining experience.
“All our efforts, from sourcing local food from local suppliers, developing our cooking techniques, to enhancing our menu offerings and improving on our capacity to suit everyone, will enhance the experience for all. People are coming in an enjoying our variety of cold and hot drinks, including Thompsons loose tea, our extensive range of coffees as well as beers, wines and spirits.
“In the last few months we have been recommended in the Michelin Guide and The McKenna’s Guide and also are eligible for the Good Food Award which reflects our commitment to our customers and to Armagh.
“Armagh is a special city and we will be working hard to ensure that, no matter who comes through our doors, they will leave this city with a good story to tell.”
A further pull to Emerson’s Supermarket is the relocation of the city’s Post Office which is now also in-house. The new open plan Post Office has four counter positions, one modern screened counter and two open-plan positions. There is also a Post Office terminal by the shop’s retail till which will enable customers to benefit from services during Emerson’s opening hours.
Mr Emerson said: “We have now got a fantastic offering for people living and working in the Armagh city and district and for people coming into the city be that for shopping, for tourism and for social occasions.
“Our team have pulled together to make this happen and we are extremely proud of everyone.”
Notes To Editor:
- Emerson’s is a family run supermarket which has been serving the local community for 125 years. The supermarket employs 110 people and is committed to creating a sustainable future on the high street in Armagh city centre. Emerson’s houses a local family supermarket, the city’s Post Office and a restaurant.
- For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | mgmpr.co.uk | Retail PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts