Convenience retailer Centra has announced plans to open 30 new stores and revamp a further 100, creating a total of 400 new jobs as part of a €30 million investment.

The expansion forms part of Centra’s ongoing transformation as the retailer’s healthy convenience offering continues to grow after it repositioned its brand - Live Every Day - two years ago.

The continued shift by consumers for healthier options and the rollout of Frank and Honest, the company’s gourmet coffee brand, across the store network helped drive Centra’s commercial performance last year.

Since repositioning the Centra brand in 2016, the company has adopted a healthier, more innovative product offering and reshaped the in-store experience to encourage shoppers to opt for healthier choices. In the past year alone, sales of its healthy sandwich range rose sharply by 24%, impulse water purchases were also up 10% on the previous year, and sales of salad boxes rose to almost €2 million.

The coffee brand led to a sharp rise in sales for Centra in the hot beverages category, which doubled in 2017.

As part of its growth strategy, Centra is introducing a Beat the Queue app, which allows busy lunch-break shoppers to pre-order sandwiches and avoid waiting. The Beat the Queue service will be introduced to over 100 stores in 2018.

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of Centra, said, "We are very happy with our performance in 2017 in what is an extremely competitive market. Our decision to reposition Centra in response to changing consumer trends, with customers increasingly choosing healthy options, has paid dividends."

Centra employs over 11,000 people in over 450 stores and serves over three million customers per week.