|Competitors:||Tesco Ireland, SuperValu, Superquinn, Penneys, Marks and Spencer|
Dunnes Stores is a supermarket and clothing retail chain based in the Republic of Ireland.
The chains primarilty sells food, clothes and household wares.
In addition to its main customer base in Ireland, the chain has operations in Great Britain and Spain.
The chains' stores are unusual in that most combine a full supermarket with a clothes department store. However some stores contain only textiles, while some (more rarely) contain only a supermarket. The company is famous for its St. Bernard label, and its slogan "Dunnes Stores, always better value". Both of these have declined in usage in recent years however, with "St. Bernard" largely being displaced by "Dunnes Stores" on product labels.
The chain was founded in 1944 in Cork by Ben Dunne, Snr, as a clothing retailer.
The food side of the business began in the 1960s. The company opened the first Irish out-of-town shopping centre at Cornelscourt, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin in 1968.
The company is particularly known for the lockout/strike from 1982 to 1986. Members of IDATU (the retail workers Union refused to handle goods sourced from apartheid South Africa. Neither side would give way and the dispute only came to an end when the Irish Government made imports from South Africa illegal.
The company is not publically listed, instead it is controlled by a family-owned trust. Ben Dunne (junior) was for a long time in a senior position until a 1992 personal scandal involving illegal drugs and an internal feud forced his withdrawal. Today two of his siblings, Frank Dunne and Margeret Heffernan, are in charge of the company.