Ennis is in the running to be named as Ireland’s friendliest place. The county capital has been shortlisted as one of the top three finalists for the Retail Excellence Ireland Friendliest Place Award 2016.
Ennis was nominated for the award by Clare County Council and joins Navan, County Meath and Gorey, County Wexford, as finalists in the annual nationwide competition.
Each county and city council across Ireland was invited to enter their city, town or village in the competition. The participating Ennis stores are Willow Boutique, Patrick Bourke’s Menswear, County Boutique, Seoidín Éile, Maddens Furniture and Rochfords Pharmacy.
In early August, retail experts undertook ‘mystery shops’ of the participating Ennis businesses where they judged customer service, store appearance externally, internal layout and staff helpfulness. Individual stores that achieve a combined score of 80% or over will be awarded the Retail Excellence Ireland Mark of Excellence to display.
Ireland’s Friendliest Place will be named at the Retail Excellence Ireland Ceremony in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Galway in November.
Mayor of Ennis Ann Norton said, “Being shortlisted is testament to the high-quality visitor and shopping experience on offer in Ennis and is a vote of confidence in the partnership approach adopted by Clare County Council, Ennis Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to promoting the town.”
Councillor Norton added, “Ennis’ participation in this awards scheme will raise further awareness of the town’s attractiveness as a shopping destination and visitor location”.
Ger Dollard, director of services, planning and economic development at Clare County Council said, “Entering the awards scheme presents a good opportunity to promote the town and have it evaluated by key retail professionals. Our success in being shortlisted is an endorsement of the high standards and quality our local retailers provide to their customers.
“Clare County Council, through the Local Enterprise Office, and Ennis Chamber of Commerce are working together to promote the development of a vibrant and competitive retail sector in the town. It is important that local business development and support organisations continue to collaborate in order to reinforce and build on the positive momentum made in the local retail sector in recent years,” he said.
“Clare County Council and Ennis Chamber recently developed a prospective package setting out the positive attributes of Ennis as an attractive retail investment location. We have already seen some recent store openings reflecting the success of this initiative,” concluded Mr Dollard.