Blanchardstown Shopping Centre will be bought for €950 million


Blackstone, a US investment group is favourite to buy Blanchardstown Shopping Centre from Green Property for €950 million. Blanchardstown anchor tenants include Dunnes Stores, Debenhams, Marks and Spencer’s and Penney’s. Green Property developed the site 20 years ago which includes a Cinema and Theatre.

Blackstone are the preferred bidder, with Green Property opting to accept a bid for the Retail Shopping Centre over the coming days. Blackstone are not believed to be the highest bidder, but they are preferred as they are believed to carry minimal risk.

Canada Pension Plan and Chartered Land were the other final bidders. The Shopping Centre has cemented itself within the Irish Retail landscape with over 1.25 million sq ft of retail and retail warehousing.

How To Keep Your Job Search Private

The below tips come directly from Managing Director Barry Whelan. He discusses how you can enjoy peace of mind in your job search, without having a detrimental impact on your current position.

When you’re looking for a job while in a job, the last thing you may want to happen is for your employer to find out you’re on the move. Although most of us would like to let our employer know and be honest, the potential fallout doesn’t make this a realistic option in most cases. This makes looking for a job when in a job more of a discreet art rather than a loud trumpet blast.

Coupled with this, Ireland is a small place where everybody knows everybody and this makes being discreet that bit more challenging. In my many years in recruitment I have had many close calls where a candidate may be going for an interview in a public place only to see someone they know, making them hastily disappear into the shadows. However it is easier to look for a job while in a job, so most people job search from their current position.

When you’re gainfully employed, keep any job search activity confidential. If you decide to stay, you don’t want your employer to second-guess your commitment. Even if you think you’re probably leaving, you want to take your time to explore and leave on your own timetable.

When looking for a job, you’re most likely going to have job interviews to attend, calls to return, emails to reply to and all of this will be during the business day.

Here are some ways to make your search confidential.

Don’t use company equipment

  • Firstly this can be seen as an offence and depending on company policy, misusing company equipment can be an offence warranting discipline.
  • Use your own mobile for calls and always use a personal email address. If you want to apply for roles or search for jobs during your lunch break, bring your personal laptop with you. Your work email may be monitored for breach of policy and routinely scanned. Your best bet is to not do anything on company equipment that you don’t want your company to see.

Be discreet on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an obvious job seeking resource and you probably have a profile for professional use, but suddenly linking into the world and its mother or following a bunch of recruitment companies all at once, might have your boss becoming suspicious. Check your settings. Depending on these your connections can see whenever you have new activity, like a new connection. If you’re connected to your boss or colleagues in your company, they may notice you connecting to the relevant personnel in all of your competitors. Don’t talk about your job seeking escapades on Facebook. Even if you just use it for personal use, you may have work friends on there or be connected through connections.

Save up your time off

Time off requests to leave the office early, come in late or take a half day or indeed a full day off arouse a flag of suspicion when they come like buses – all at once. Try to arrange interviews outside hours or if requesting a day off for an interview, try to do this on a Friday or Monday where at least it does look like a long weekend. As your job search activity picks up, it will become increasingly more disruptive to your work. Expect this, and plan for it. Stockpile holiday days so you can take the time off.

Dress for an interview everyday

If your office attire is smart casual or your company has a policy of casual Fridays, you will stick out like a sore thumb when arriving in work suited and booted for an interview. You can bring a suit or change of clothes in the back of your car and do a Clarke Kent on the way to an interview but this may not always be feasible. Up your game attire wise. If your office is smart casual wear a suit to work with open collar or for females move from fashionably casual to fashionably professional – the addition of a tie or some professional footwear may be all you need to bring your attire up to interview grade without suspicion or the need for multiple wardrobes. You can gradually start dressing more professionally all the time, thereby calling less attention to yourself when you do dress up for your interviews.

Manage your recruiters

I start in the office at 7am each morning so I can meet and speak with candidates before work. We don’t close at lunch so that we can make and take calls from candidates who cannot speak during office hours and I work late every Wednesday for the same reason. You might be doing all you can to keep your job search confidential but you also have to ensure that everyone who is working with you also keeps this confidence. This means that you instruct recruiters to only contact you on your mobile phone or personal email and you should let them know that your search is confidential and that you can only talk at certain times or indeed by text or just email. Make sure you insist that they don’t forward your information to any clients without your consent – you don’t want them to pitch you to their client who also happens to work closely with your current company.

Manage potential contacts

In addition to recruiters, be careful what you say to suppliers, consultants, or clients of your company. You may have a genuine relationship with them outside of work but if you ask them for professional leads that will take you out of your company, it might be construed as competing with your company or not acting in the company’s best interest. This may run foul of company policy. Or the supplier, consultant or client may be loose-lipped and mention that you’re looking to your boss.

Ireland is a small place and everyone knows everyone, however HR professionals and professional recruiters guarantee discretion and confidentiality. Keep your cards close to your chest, box clever and your job search will remain private and confidential.

What is HACCP?

If you are interested in getting trained individually or in a group, JobsatExcel offers the most affordable training courses in a central Dublin location. All courses are done by a registered and certified trainer with certificates of completion issued on the day. Contact for more information and to register your interest.

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. It is a system that identifies where and when hazards may occur along food production and processing. HACCP puts into place action to take to prevent hazards from happening.


What are the seven principles of HACCP?

1.Identify The Hazards

Look at each step along the production line and food processing to identify potential hazards that may occur. This includes purchasing, delivery, storage, chilling, preparation and cooking and all the possibilities that could occur and go wrong. This include biological, physical and chemical hazards like salmonella and cross contamination.

2. Identify The Critical Control Points

Critical Control Points are regarded as steps or procedures along the process/production that can be applied and as a result a food safety hazard can be prevented, or reduced to an acceptable level. A Food Safety Hazard is any biological, chemical or physical property that may cause food to be unsafe for consumption.

3. Establish Critical limit

Set limits to which allow you to identify when a critical control point is eliminated. This point is the minimum or maximum value in which a physical, biological or chemical hazard can be prevented or made safe to an acceptable level.

4. Establish A System To Monitor Control Of The CCP

Monitoring ensures that processes are under control under each identified CCP. This step ensures that CCP’s and critical limits have been identified, they are monitored and recorded. This will depend on the size and type of business you have/work in.

An example: Probe refrigerated food to ensure that it is being maintained below 5°C.

5. Establish Corrective Action

When monitoring indicates that a particular Critical Control Point is not under control, corrective action must be taken.

6. Establish procedures and verification

Review and correct the system whenever you make changes to your operations.

7. Establish procedures for verifying the HACCP system is working as intended.

A successful HACCP plan will have the verification to prove its effectiveness. Verification procedures will include HACCP plans, CCP records and critical limits. Appropriate documentation and records must be kept and be readily available, with the complexity and length of HACCP records depending on the business.

What Is A Critical Limit?

A Critical Limit is a maximum or minimum value to which a biological, chemical or physical parameter must be controlled at CCP, to prevent, eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level.

BHS expected to go into administration

British Department Store BHS is expected to go into administration, affecting 8,000 jobs and 3,000 contractors. BHS has 164 stores and have been in business for over 88 years. The British retailer operate 4 stores in Northern Ireland in Lisburn, Belfast, Newtownabbey and Hollywood.

BHS has long struggled with the fierce competition within UK retail. In March they won the support from creditors to re-finance and structure a rescue plan, however they failed to raise the additional funds. The Retail Acquisitions acquired the stores group for £1 in March this year, from billionaire Topshop owner Philip Green. Green had previously bought the portfolio for £200 million in 2000.

In a letter to 11,000 employees on Sunday night Dominic Chappell said: “It is with a deep heart that I have to report, despite a massive effort from the team, we have been unable to secure a funder or a trade sale.” Chappell had led The Retail Acquisition Consortium who bought BHS from Greene.

Usdaw, the British shop workers union said of the situation ‘’ We are seeking urgent clarification from the company and urging them to change their attitude to trade unions and begin a dialogue with us at this difficult and worrying time for staff’’.

Maxol to acquire former Esso Stations


Maxol have announced their intent to expand within the Greater Leinster Area. Maxol, is currently Ireland’s leading independent oil company and recently opened Forecourts in Mulhuddart and North Dublin. An Asset Purchase Agreement has been agreed with Topaz that means Maxol will acquire three service stations in:

  1. Naas Road, Kill Co. Kildare
  2. Greenhills Road, Greenhills Dublin 12.
  3. Naas Road/Long Mile Road Junction, Walkinstown, Dublin 12.

All stations were formerly owned by Esso. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission have been notified of the merger which was won by Maxol in a competitive tender process. Maxol Chief Executive Brian Donaldson commented “Maxol is delighted to have the opportunity to add these three quality locations to its ever-expanding service station network. We have been keen to strengthen our presence in the Leinster area and these three stations will allow Maxol to serve a great many new customers in Ireland’s most densely populated region. We look forward to the outcome of the current CCPC process and to making further announcements on our expansion plans across Ireland in the very near future.”

Supermarket sales boost at Easter with SuperValu on top


Supermarket sales grew by 4.6% for the 12 weeks ending March 27th, versus the same period last year. Kantar Worldwide figures show that the earlier Easter period heavily impacted Irish Grocery Retail. An additional €40million was pumped through supermarkets resulting in hikes in specific trends.

  • Sales of Fresh produce grew by 11% versus the same period 2015.
  • Crisps and snacks grew by 12%
  • Confectionary and snacks extending by 32% to coincide with the Easter period.
  • 69% of shoppers bought at least one Easter egg.

SuperValu again have retailed their spot as the preferred supermarket of Irish consumers.

  • Market share grew to 24.9%
  • Sales increase of 5%

Kantar Worldwide Director David Berry said ‘’Tesco posted sales growth for the fourth consecutive month as their performance continues to improve.’’ Dunnes Stores also increased their per trolley spend by €3 year on year.


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New Restaurant to open in Cineworld Dublin

Wings International, a UK all you can eat style buffet will open a new 250 seater restaurant on in Dublin. Cineworld Dublin which is located on Parnell Street is Ireland’s largest Cinema complex, housing 17 screens across 4 floors. Wings, it is believed, will open in the basement of the premise across 1,300 sq. m of vacant space

The space which has been vacant for years would be Wings first entrance into the Irish market. Wings specialises in World cuisine with over 150 dishes prepared daily. The cinema experiences massive footfall and is believed to be the fifth busiest cinema in the UK & Ireland.

Full story here.

Hodson Bay Group planning new €40million Dublin Hotel

The Hodson Bay Group are planning a 263 bedroom hotel for Dublin. The hotel is planned for The Coombe area of Dublin’s north inner city, with a projected cost of €40 million for such a development. The Hodson Bay Group, a luxury Irish Hotel group currently have properties in Athlone and Galway and is run by the O’Sullivan family.

The hotel would reside on the site of several buildings close to St. Patrick’s cathedral. The proposal lists an array of amenities which would include a café, bar, restaurant, as well as a meeting and conference area. The total site would span across 13,770 sq m. and would be no taller than six stories high.

Supermac’s to launch frozen and ready meal range S’Macs


Irish fast food restaurant Supermac’s has announced they will launch a new range of ready meals called ‘S’Macs’. Supermac’s currently operate in 106 locations after opening their first in Ballinasloe Town, County Galway in 1978. The S’Macs range will bring restaurant best-sellers to supermarkets and will include frozen dressed fries, beef burgers and chicken.


The range was developed specifically ‘’to meet the needs of young, time-poor consumers, looking for convenience without sacrificing taste and quality’’.Supermac’s have amplified their marketing campaign of late and unlike their April fool prank, the S’Macs range is believed to come to supermarket shelves sometime this year.