Our Business 2017-11-22T16:32:11+00:00

Our Business

BWG Foods UC is part of BWG Group, a leading retail and wholesale distribution company operating in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. BWG owns and operates a number of leading retail brands with over 1,400 SPAR, EUROSPAR, MACE, Londis and XL stores serving local communities in partnership with independent retailers. BWG also owns and operates leading Irish wholesale brands, BWG Foodservice and Value Centre Cash & Carry. BWG Group has an estimated 12% share of the overall grocery retailing market in Ireland and a 40% share of the convenience retailing market.

The Group is a long established wholesale and retail company in the Irish grocery trade and was formed by the amalgamation of four independent wholesale companies in the 1970’s.

In Ireland BWG operates a number of Business Divisions:

BWG Foods UC

BWG Foods Wholesale Division

BWG Wines & Spirits

BWG Property (Triode Newhill Management Services)


In the UK BWG operates the Appleby Westward Group:

Appleby Westward Group:

BWG operates 266 SPAR stores in the southwest of England through Appleby Westward.

BWG purchased Gillett’s in 2016, which owns and operates 63 SPAR stores throughout Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.

Our History

BWG Group was originally part of the Brooks Watson Group before being acquired by Irish Distillers in the 1980’s. The BWG Group was acquired from the French drinks company Pernod Ricard in August 2002 following a management buy-out, which was supported by Electra Partners, the London based venture capital company. The management buyout was led by leading Irish businessman Leo Crawford. In October 2006, Triode Investments Ltd. a company controlled by Leo Crawford, John Clohisey and John O’Donnell completed the purchase of BWG Group from Electra. In 2014, SPAR South Africa invested in a joint venture with the BWG management team to acquire the BWG Group of companies. SPAR South Africa is a leading publicly-quoted wholesaler and distributor to over 1,800 independent retailers spread across Southern Africa. The new joint venture is owned 80% by SPAR South Africa and 20% by Leo Crawford, John Clohisey and John O’Donnell. The new partnership has allowed BWG to invest in the expansion of the company’s retailing operations, which included the acquisition of Londis in 2015. BWG is very much recognized for innovation in food retailing and the company has won many prestigious local and international industry awards.

BWG Compass

 The BWG Compass frames precisely what we do at BWG Foods, what we aspire to and what beliefs and principles guide those that work within the Company.

Vision

“We build lasting retail and wholesale partnerships by delivering industry leading customer solutions in everything we do.”

Mission

“Through our passionate people and dynamic brands, we aim to exceed customer expectations by delivering profitable and innovative retail and wholesale solutions to our partners.”

Values

“Our business is an integral part of the local communities in which we operate. Our values are centred around the core principles of people, partnership, respect, innovation and local.”

People

Our people are passionate about what they do and work together with integrity for the benefit of our partners and customers.

Partnership

Our business is a partnership of retailers, business customers and suppliers. We always strive for excellent customer service and recognise the value of two-way communication.

Respect

We treat our colleagues, and our partners, with dignity and respect. We act professionally and take accountability for our actions.

Innovation

We encourage innovation in every aspect of our business, constantly challenging ourselves to exceed customer expectations and meet their future needs.

Local

Our business is an integral part of the local communities in which our brands operate. We are responsible citizens and are committed to developing a business for the longer term.

BWG Timeline

BWG Foods has been in existence for more than 40 years and during this time the Company has built up a portfolio of leading retail and wholesale brands. The BWG Compass represents our vision, mission and values and inspires everything we do.

1960 - MACE is founded in Ireland

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1963 - The SPAR brand is launched in Ireland

The SPAR brand is launched in Ireland by three Irish wholesale companies (AWL, MUM, and Looney & Co). A fourth wholesaler Western Wholesale joins SPAR in 1966. Read more

1968 - Value Centre is founded

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1973 - Brooks Watson Group (BWG) is formed

Brooks Watson Group (BWG) is formed by the amalgamation of the four independent SPAR wholesale companies. BWG secures control of the SPAR brand for Ireland. Read more

1983 - BWG Aquires MNC (Merchants National CoOp)

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1984 - BWG is acquired by Irish Distillers

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1991 - Newhill is formed

Newhill is formed incorporating Eight to Twelve with BWG as minority shareholder. Read more

1993 - Greenhills Wines & Spirits

Greenhills Wines & Spirits is created by BWG. Read more

1994 - BWG acquires J&J Hasletts

BWG acquires J&J Hasletts, the MACE wholesaler in Northern Ireland. Read more

1996 - Maxol/MACE partnership deal is signed

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1997 - BWG acquires Appleby Westward

BWG acquires Appleby Westward, the SPAR wholesaler in South West England. Read more

1997 - XL Symbol group is launched

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1997 - EUROSPAR and SPAR Express are formed

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2000 - BWG acquires Punch & Co.

BWG acquires Punch & Co. (Vantage Wholesale), the MACE wholesaler in Munster. Read more

2001 - BWG Foodservice is established

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2002 - Management buy-out of BWG and Newhill, supported by Electra Partners

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2002 - BWG Group acquired by Pernod Ricard

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2006 - Triode Investments Ltd completes purchase of BWG from Electra (Cognetas).

Triode Investments Ltd, a company controlled by Leo Crawford, John Clohisey and John O'Donnell completed the purchase of BWG Group from Electra. Read more

2008 - BWG acquires Mangans Wholesale securing control of the MACE brand in Ireland.

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2008 - Greenhills Wines & Spirits becomes BWG Wines & Spirits

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2012 - 240,000 sq ft BWG National Distribution Centre opens at Kilcarbery Business Park.

Morris Brothers Wholesale is acquired.

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2014 - SPAR South Africa invests €55 million

SPAR South Africa invested €55 million in a joint venture with the BWG management team to acquire the BWG Group of companies. Read more

2015 - BWG acquires ADM Londis

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2016 - BWG acquires Gillett’s

BWG acquires Gillett’s, which owns and operates 63 SPAR stores in the UK. Read more