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Tag Archives: Duncan Graham

Local retailers ‘overwhelmed’ by customer support

OVERWHELMING loyalty from Christmas shoppers has given retailers a badly-needed boost, as the sector braces for further restrictions. While non-essential outlets face another period of uncertainty as Covid cases rise, shop owners have thanked people for making a concerted effort to support them in the month of December. Tina Grogan from Bambino in Ennis said it was very apparent that people made a conscious decision to back local retailers. “It has been so touching and the support coming up to Christmas was phenomenal,” she said. “It was really obvious that people were making an effort to shop local and, after the year that’s been in it, it was almost overwhelming to see.” At the County Boutique, Gwen Culligan described the support as “unbelievable”. “We were just blown away by it,” said the former President of Ennis Chamber of Commerce. “We did brilliant business. Our customers came back to us and it was clear they were determined to give their support.” …

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Wearing face coverings “the new normal” for shoppers

THE wearing of face coverings become “part of the new normal” for shoppers in Ennis with most agreeing it makes them feel safer, according to CEO of Ennis Chamber Margaret O’Brien. On Monday regulations making face coverings mandatory in shops and other indoor public settings came into force. Similar to the regulations requiring people to wear masks on public transport, those in breach of the rules can be fined up to €2,500 or face six months imprisonment. Members of Ennis Chamber have welcomed the move, Ms O’Brien tells us. “Feedback from Ennis Chamber members is largely positive.  Staff in most shops were already wearing masks and have become used to them.” She continued, “So far there haven’t been any incidents reported of customers refusing to mask up, although some have needed to be reminded. Public sentiment has changed considerably in recent weeks around the wearing of facemasks, they have become part of the new normal. Most agree that the wearing of …

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New retail chief urges struggling businesses to seek support

THE new Managing Director of Ennis-based Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) has issued an appeal to shop owners to come forward and avail of supports to help their businesses survive and thrive in the turbulent environment created by the pandemic. Duncan Graham, a Nottingham native, who takes the helm from David Fitzsimons, noted that the last three to four months has seen five year’s worth of transition in the retail sector – with the most notable change being the acceleration from bricks-and-mortar to multi-platform retailing. Against that backdrop, Mr Graham sees a number of opportunities, not only in the move to online channels, but the new awareness among consumers of what smaller, local retailers can offer. Having lived and worked in Ireland for the last 24 years, Mr Duncan has experience with some of the country’s leading retailers. “I came to Ireland with Marks and Spencers,” he explained. “I’m a retailer through and through.” Also on his impressive CV are a …

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Retail Excellence appoint new Managing Director

ENNIS based Retail Excellence has confirmed the appointment of Duncan Graham as Managing Director, taking over from David Fitzsimons. Originally from Nottingham Duncan has a wealth of experience in Irish retail since his arrival in Cork in 1996 where he spent two years running the Marks and Spencer store before relocating to Dublin. Since then he has worked with Brown Thomas as General Manager before becoming CEO of a ladieswear company. For the last nine years he has been responsible for the expansion of the Specsavers brand across Ireland, Scotland and Spain. Commenting on the appointment the Chairman of Retail Excellence and COO of Applegreen PLC, Joe Barrett, said: “We are delighted that Duncan has joined Retail Excellence at such a critical time for Irish retail and we wish him success in helping shape the industry for the future.”

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