With a ready smile and a handshake for, well, practically everyone Pat Joyce has already become a familiar face at the Tuam Shopping Centre where the new Joyce’s supermarket opened recently offering customers more choice for their shopping needs with some of the best deals in town.
While some may find it daunting to take on an empty anchor unit and completely remodel it into a new 20,000 square feet store in just four weeks Mr Joyce and his team relished every moment, and the hard work paid off when at the official opening last Thursday a greeting party made up of hundreds of eager local shoppers turned up to check out the new arrival in town.
“We received a big welcome from the people of Tuam and I’m thrilled to bits so far,” said Mr Joyce, while showing me around the spacious store. “I had been interested and looking at Tuam for a number of years. The unit had been empty for eight months, I was approached, and moved in on November 1. We totally remodelled the store and opened on December 2. We did a lot of work and a lot of forward planning was involved. It was a big challenge and a real buzz.
“Joyce’s aims to provide superb offers to customers. During the Celtic Tiger it was different times. Now, the money in the pocket needs to go further, people are more conscious of where they spend their hard earned money. So there was a need for Joyce’s in the town, a need for more competition, and to give people more choices when doing their shopping. We’re here to fill that need. Joyce’s is local, we’re only 12 miles from Tuam, so we care for what we do and like to do it right. It is also extremely important to us, in this day and age, to support local employment and local suppliers. When people spend here it goes back into the area. We try to put it back into the community through supporting charities, clubs, or events. We’ve always done that,” he said.
Mr Joyce’s enthusiasm and friendly manner has certainly rubbed off on his business with the new store instantly making any customer feel welcomed. In keeping with the aim to offer customers the best deals available and to “take on the discounters” the Joyce’s store in Tuam features a new concept, the orange section, where you will find a whole range of products at discounted prices, everything from chilled to frozen food, yummy tins of biscuits for Christmas, and household goods. The offers continue with the Best Buys sections located and highlighted throughout the store.
There is a real market feel to the fruit and veg section which leads on to the hot food deli, the salad bar, fish section, and a wide variety of bread, pastas, olives, cheese, eggs, and devilish Goya cakes. “Whatever the customers want we try to get. We try to source local products as much as possible too,” said Mr Joyce proudly, before guiding me towards the aisles where Joyce’s has added a lovely touch which is unique to the Tuam store. As a sort of homage to the town all of the aisles have been named after places such as High Street, Forster Place, Chapel Lane, or Bishop Street. The aptly named Champagne tower is a beacon to the off-licence where there are always good deals on a wide selection of wine and excellent value on slabs of beer.
“There are over 30,000 product lines stocked throughout the store. Customers will save money by shopping at Joyce’s. We’re here to please and if asked to stock a particular product we do our best to get it. We live and learn every day, and I’m still learning by listening to the customers and what their needs are,” said Mr Joyce.
Having spent the past 31 years in business, Mr Joyce, a married father of four children, has always held sacred the mantra of looking after customers’ needs and over the years this has helped him to successfully build the business up from humble beginnings. “Joyce’s started with my father who had a lock-up store in Headford and a travelling shop in 1951. It developed further over the years and I came home from London to take over the supermarket side of the business, about 31 years ago, while my twin brother, Jim Joyce, joined us two years later and he took over the general merchant side. Joyce’s in Headford started with just eight to 10 people working there, now within the group there are more than 320 employees in four locations. It was in 1999 that I first ventured outside of Headford. We opened in Knocknacarra, and then in Athenry in December 2005, and now Tuam. Eight months ago this unit was closed and now we’ve re-opened it, starting with 50 staff last Thursday but since then we’ve taken on another 15.
“In business, a lot of hard work makes it possible for what I do. I have as much enthusiasm and energy as I did 30 years ago. I love being in the store every day, I love purchasing, getting the best deals possible, I believe that the day you buy is the day you sell. In that way Joyce’s can compete with the best, we like to lead the way in retail. We have to be better and beat the prices in the market place. That’s what real competition is about,” he says.
Asked about the Joyce’s Group plans for the future, further expansion and business ventures were not ruled out with Mr Joyce declaring “We’re not finished yet.”
Check in store for the latest offers. Late night shopping times for Christmas week are Tuesday December 21 7am to midnight, Wednesday December 22 7am to 2am, Thursday December 23 7am to 2am, and Friday December 24 7am to 7pm.