Galway Advertiser 1988/1988_03_17/GA_17031988_E1_021.pdf
A DAY IN T H E LIFE O F FEARGAL QUINN
Superquinn bakery staff. They had just won 58 awards in a recent three day competition and were being congratulated by the real Mr. Quinn. Then it was on to the fruit and vegetable section where this writer was instructed to call round all the staff and discuss last week's sales figures with them. Feargal Quinn is a strong believer in personal contact and likes to involve his staff in the day to day running of the stores. We looked at our targets, profits and outgoings ana tried to analyse why they were so. personally if I moved it on, just ever so slightly? Could we agree to stock it on a provisional basis? The high powered supermarket supremo in me took over and said "Of course, we would like to stock it at once". The necessary facings would be provided by reducing the number of bottles of foreign mineral water. Decision one had been taken. And it was off upstairs to attend the regular Consumer Panel meeting. There nine women voiced their likes and dislikes of Superquin. The new Feargal packed bags at the checkout. He places a lot of emphasis on courtesy and friendliness and advised me to introduce myself by name to the customer and chat as I packed the groceries. By now, he had told almost the entire population of Dublin about the great job swop. He merrily kept introducing me as Feargal Quinn much to the bewilderment of onlookers and happily told everyone he was Mary O'Connor, a journalist from the Galway Advertiser. On the way to An Post his personal assistant shows me Feargal Quinn's mail from the Superquin office. There is a dental appointment for 8.30 a.m., congratulatory cards on his second doctorate, a letter from two children asking Feargal to explain the new itemised receipts, many job applications and financial requests from charities. All of them write "Dear Feargal". It's as if they've known him all thier lives. AT AN POST He has a gleaming office at An Post. You could see yourself in the shine on the table, the chair swivels elegantly, the decor is discreet and easy on the eye. But he spends little time in this office or indeed in any other office. His new year resolution was to spend as little time as possible in the office and all his time on
FEARGAL the floor. Hence his personal assistant usually travels by car for a while with him each day in order to go through the day's business. In An Post the new Feargal reads over her address for the next day's important meeting and again replies to post. In addition to signing all his letters he writes little personal addendums on the majority of them. He really enjoys the letters he gets complaining about the telephone service and gets great pleasure in writing back saying "That's Michael Smurfit's problem". Again, all the letters begin "Dear Feargal". He is the face of the once very faceless An Post organisation. It is lunch time. The new Feargal is revelling in being heaa of two huge Corporations but has not left behind her tummy on entering such dizzy planes. Hunger pangs persist. The real Feargal runs upstairs to the An Post canteen. He loves dropping in and surprising everyone. We all order mutton over a twenty minute lunch. He asks about the new Feargal's spouse and family. He tells me about his five children especially his daughter Zooey's confirmation on Friday. As we leave the
QUINN canteen HE points O T T E U H Gents to THE NEW Feargal WITH a wicked grin. Feargal always GOES IN T E E HE SAYS HR merrily. ON THE ROAD AGAIN On the road again T O Ballyfermot T SEE AN 85 FT. O long boat WHICH IS being built WITH THE most modern technology FR O TE H Whitbread Round T E H World Race. Ballymun NEXT for a press reception to launch a trade fair where 25 long term unemployed HAVE reached the first rung in the ladder to success. THEN t o Finglas where the new Feargal spoke to the chargehands of fruit departments on the subject of "fruit and vegetables". This was followedby a visit to Knocklyon Superquinn which recently won an award. The champagne flowed and both Feargals toasted each other, on a job well done. At 630 p.m. the working day was over. This journalist came away laden with Bowers, 11---- nun SFFI I stamps, silver spoon. And most of all a gnat insfeht ini and the mind of a I the Midas tooca. Man O'Connor
Ms. Feargal Quinn, Mary O'Connor and Mr. Quinn's personal assistant Ms. Anne O'Broin inspecting a fish counter at the Superquinn Naas on one of Feargal's famed surprise tours of one of his twelve stores.
A BUSY DAY IN DUBLIN
A B L U E Mercedes draws up outside number 70, Adelaide Road at 7.45 a.m. The driver remains in the car as Feargal Quinn steps out and knocks at the door. Dressed in a navy blue pin stripe suit, crisp white shirt and patterned tie he is boyishly handsome. He grins broadly and his whole face lights up. "Hello, I'm Feargal Quinn, you must be Mary O'Connor". The great job swop had completed his begun. He doesn't always apprenticeship in the have a driver but on days grocery trade. He went to like this when be has a hectic France after college and schedule it makes sense to let returned home terribly someone else take over at the excited at the concept of self wheel, be sits beside me in service. Htold his father of the back seat and shows me the shops he saw selling my itinerary. The took of shoes, not shoe boxes. His horror on my face amuses father dissuaded him from him immensely. entering the shoe business, Feargal Quinn is saying grocery was a much congenial, charming and an more reliable business. And easy conversationalist. He he had served his genuinely loves people and apprenticeship in the trade. has never lost the common He opened his first shop in touch. The range and extent Dundalk in 1%0 and now of his knowledge is owns twelve shops within the astounding and he can speak pale. He kke to open a new with authority on anything. one on his birthday, His staff speak highly of him November 29th. and say he is always willing to listen and learn, he is not ON THE ROAD an authoritarian type of boss and leads purely by Naas is our first stop. The example. sun is beating down on He grew up in a different Superquin as we arrive. business altogether to the Mary O'Connir, the supermarket business. His journalist donned white family ran the Red Island coat and Feargal Quinn Holiday Camp in Skerries. name tag and automatically Feargal studied Commerce became Chairperson of the in University and worked Superquin empire and An pan time in a grocery to earn Post. The aroma of fresh some cash. The year he wholemeal bread waited in finished college he had also the air as we met the
Ms. Feargal Quinn giving a lecture on "Fruit and Vegetables" to the staff at Superquinn, Finglas last Wednesday. Ms. Mary O'Connor enjoys the situation. ROOM ON THE SHELVES Next came a meeting with Glenpatrick Mineral Water company. The real Feargal Quinn was to decide that day if he should introduce their stock to his shelves. No longer in control he introduced me to Brian Duffy from Glenpatrick and walked away. Brian Duffy knew his mineral water and waxed lyrically on its virtues. The new Feargal Quinn recognised its potential but was faced with a kingsize problem. There was no room for it on our shelves. The Mary O'Connor in me deliberated, what could be moved to accommodate bottles of Glenpatrick. Would a well known foreign mineral water desist fiercely being reduced in number or would a certain other Irish health drink take it very Feargal asked questions and tried valiantly to look important and knowledgeable. The olf Feargal listened and learned. Some talked of the lack of car parkins facilities, poor variety in pizzas, the cooked ham that tasted like rubber, the packers who gleefully fling groceries into bags without care. On a complimentary note, praise was lavished on the playhouse, checkout staff, and delicious varieties of salads. The real Feargal Ouinn took notes of all the complaints, and compliments; the former he promised to study and remedy if at all possible, the latter he would pas* on to the staff. The Walkinstown branch was our next stop There I spoke with staff and customers and like the real
The Knocklyon Superquinn received an inter store quality award last week. The prize: champagne for all the adult customers and, at pictured here, 7 Up far all the children.