Dunnes Store Organisational Structure

Dunnes Stores is an Irish, family owned, mass market retailer in the grocery and textiles and the company ethos has been based on the principles of very competitive pricing, good quality products and choice. These principles are encapsulated in the words ‘Better Value’ for which Dunnes Stores has become famous.

Structure of Stores

All Buying & Support functions are located in Dunnes Stores Head Office, based in Dublin City Centre. Head Office currently employs approximately 520 people. Head Office management visit stores regularly to ensure that issues are resolved as quickly as possible and to share ideas and opinions. The Head Office departments break down into 4 main areas:

•Grocery Buying – dealing with products ranging from Tissues to TVs. We have Buyers and support positions in Beverages, Confectionary, Wine, Dry Grocery, Dairy, Bakery, Frozen Food, Non Food, Convenience, Fresh Meat & Poultry and Fresh Produce. •Textiles Buying – dealing with products ranging from Socks to Sofas. They have Buyers and support positions in Ladieswear, Homewares, Menswear, Childrenswear, Footwear, Lingerie & Hosiery and Accessories (see our Day in the Life section).

•Operations – This is a section dealing with all operational matters, including Operations Development, Grocery Operations, Textiles Operations, Operations Finance, Food Hygiene, Security & Loss Prevention, Health & Safety, Catering and Merchandising. They ensure that the stores are performing as they should be and that there is nothing which prevents a store from operating to the highest level for service and standards. •Finance & Accounts – This is where they keep number crunchers, in departments such as Financial Accounts, Management Accounts, Grocery Accounts, Drapery Accounts, Overheads, Insurance, Purchasing, Treasury,
Shipping, Trade, Salaries, Wages, Central Payment, Figures and MIS. They also employ specialists in the following areas:-

•Store Development
•Human Resources
•Business Systems

As you can see Head Office consists of a lot of different departments! Within each department there are sub departments and within each sub department there are a lot of different types of positions at all different levels. This all means that there are lots of opportunities and great career prospects for people across a broad range of disciplines and backgrounds.

In 1943 Bernard “Ben” Dunne opened his first store, a drapers shop, in Cork, Ireland and by 1944, the first store bearing the Dunnes name opens. Now family-owned Dunnes Stores Ltd remains an Irish tradition, with nearly 125 department stores, combining groceries, home furnishings, and clothing, throughout Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and Scotland, and Spain. Ireland is the core of the company’s operations, with 89 stores, and the company has expanded strongly into the Northern Ireland market, with 23 stores. The company’s 11 stores in England and Scotland are textile-only stores, but its four stores in Spain are modeled after its traditional Irish department stores. In addition, Dunnes has begun a drive into the convenience store market, converting one of its sites to a smaller “American-style” format.

The intensely private company, which has long held the slogan of “Better Value” and which has long shunned the media spotlight, has also registered a subsidiary (sister company), called Better Value Conveniently Yours Ltd., suggesting its intention to expand further into the convenience store market, under the Conveniently Yours name. Dunnes remains controlled by the founding Dunne family, with the founder’s daughter Margaret Heffernan acting as CEO since the early 1990s. Under Heffernan’s leadership, the company has shifted away from its deep-discount roots to position itself as a mid-priced market retailer. The company is purported to be grooming the next generation to take over the company, with Heffernan’s daughter Anne tipped as her mother’s successor. Dunnes remains committed to
its status as a private, independent company.

Principal Competitors: Tesco Plc; Musgrave Group Plc; Roches Stores Ireland Ltd.; Arnotts Plc; Brown Thomas Group Ltd.


15,000 people operate throughout the Dunnes Stores Group within a vast array of different and diverse positions. Buying and Selling is clearly the backbone of any retailer, and in Dunnes Stores it is no different. However they also employ many people within numerous different support functions both within Stores as well as within Head Office. Positions include Human Resources, Finance & Accounting, Customer Care, Information Technology, Marketing, Store Development, and Operations – to name but a few!

The Company is still family-owned and the family members are still very active in the day to day running of the Company. Their commitment and drive is critical in ensuring the winning momentum continues and that critical business decisions are made in a timely manner. These decisions filter through the Company and are enacted extremely quickly.


Sales Assistants

The Sales Assistants are critical in ensuring that customer demands and expectations are met. They assist throughout the day (and sometimes throughout the night) in ensuring that products are replenished and re-merchandised to a high standard. They are the face of the Company and meet and greet customers on a daily basis, offering them high quality service through the appropriate training and support.

Many of today’s Store Managers started their careers as Sales Assistants, either straight out of school or working part-time whilst at college.

Retail Managers

There are managers operating in areas such as Grocery, Dairy/Frozen, Non Food, Fresh Foods, Fresh Produce, Goods Inwards, Homewares, Ladieswear, Childrenswear, Menswear, Security, Human Resources, Checkouts, Food Safety as well as within their Timepiece Restaurants. These are fast paced and challenging roles, where the main objectives are to maximise Customer Service, Sales and Standards. A Manager in Dunnes Stores would drive productivity within the team and look for opportunities where standards can be improved and where positive results can be maximised.

Store Managers

Store managers are responsible for delegating tasks / duties and driving productivity and satisfaction amongst their team (which can now incorporate up to 700 people). Duties include controlling overheads, maximising sales performance on every product, controlling stock loss and wastage, ensuring the best results from company audits and making sure that your yearly targets are reached and exceeded.

The beauty of Dunnes Stores is that each store is operated like a mini business on its own – and store managers are the one in the driving seat. When I say ‘mini-business’ but it may well be a business responsible for millions of Euro a week!!

Store Managers have to adhere to the Company policies and procedures but they can also open the door each day to their own agenda.

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