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Tag Archives: Patrick Bourke

“We were closed for 12 weeks already and this is six weeks”

REALLY passionate about his business, the initial lockdown was very hard for Patrick Bourke, and there are probably few people who are as disappointed to be closing again as the retailer who runs prominent men’s clothes shops in Ennis and Kilrush. “We were closed for 12 weeks already and this is six weeks, so it’s more than a third of the year. Outside of the fact that it’s a third of the year, it’s a time when we would have done 40% of our business,” he said on Tuesday afternoon, as the spectre of lockdown loomed. While they didn’t run an online store earlier in the year, they have one in place now, just in time for another lockdown. It has made a flying start and Patrick says it will be good for business and will keep him busy over the coming weeks. “We launched online last week, and it has been beyond our expectations. It won’t replace the lost …

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“I’m just dying to get back to work”

IT took a global pandemic to stop Patrick Bourke working on Bank Holiday Mondays. When the restrictions around Covid-19 were introduced, it meant that he literally could not work and he says it was the first time in 45 years not being at his business on the few bank holidays that fell during that time. On Tuesday, he was getting ready for reopening next week and his enthusiasm was unmistakable, even refreshing. Like a small child on Christmas morning, he hadn’t been able to rest, so keen was he to get back to work in his shops in Ennis and Kilrush. “I was awake at 5am and out of the bed at 5.20am. I had the front of the shop swept before the council workers started at eight o’clock this morning!” They will have nearly a week of preparatory work before the real thing starts next Monday. “Officially, next Monday is our first day back but we’re back preparing for …

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Ennis fashion retailers rising to the challenges of Covid-19

THE personalised, customer-focused shopping experience that has become synonymous with the town of Ennis is still continuing despite the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The pandemic has resulted in retail closures throughout the county, with businesses increasingly focusing their efforts online in a bid to meet these new unprecedented challenges. The last few weeks have highlighted the importance of having an online shopping presence, according to Gwen Culligan of the County Boutique in Ennis. While Patrick Burke’s is set to launch a personal shopping service utilising popular apps so people can purchase while still maintaining social distancing. The County Boutique launched its website last year allowing people to buy the latest looks from the comfort of their own home. Gwen tells us they were “incredibly lucky” to already be online when the Covid-19 restrictions were introduced. “We’re selling every day at the moment. I had been spending some time over the last few months putting things on the site, but I’ve been …

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Retailers celebrate a fruitful Christmas

WITH the economy apparently thriving, Christmas was quite positive for local retailers. On Wednesday morning as they reopened their doors, several traders told The Clare Champion things had gone well. Although Christmas Eve hadn’t been particularly hectic, busy earlier trading had more than made up for that, said Patrick Bourke. “We had two record days, the Friday and Saturday, December 22 and 23. The busiest days in a long, long time. That helped matters and it was part of the reason why Christmas Eve was back a bit, there was so much spent on the Friday and Saturday.” His store in Kilrush performed well, he said. “Kilrush had a very good Christmas. It came later in Kilrush than it did in Ennis but it turned out well, there is no doubt about that. This year, the emigrant factor wasn’t quite as noticeable as other years. We had the wedding end of it alright, with a lot of people back for …

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A happy Christmas for traders

TRADERS in Clare say that Christmas 2016 was quite good for them, providing some evidence that long-sought economic recovery has reached the county. Paul Queally of SuperValu in Kilrush and Killaloe felt that December 25 falling on a Sunday was helpful, as it changed how people spent. “In comparison to other years it was favourable, slightly up on previous years. It often is like that when you have a full week running into it. When it is like that, it tends to be busier. It’s a bit more relaxed, people can remember everything they are looking for and there isn’t as much of a rush.” While he believes this side of the country is still lagging behind the east, he feels that things improved in Clare a little this year. “I would say it has been quite good this year, probably the best for a few years.” Audrey Flynn of Ennis Electrical also felt it had been a fairly good …

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A Christmas tale of level spending

WHILE pre-Christmas and festive trading was certainly no worse than in previous years, there hasn’t been much evidence of increased spending in the Banner County, according to retailers. This week, Pat Kelly, manager of SkyCourt shopping centre in Shannon, said trading was quite similar to 12 months previously. “It was on a par with previous years, not better, but on a par with previous years. There was a lot of talk about the uplift but I thought we’d see more of it.” He said that Dealz, which sells goods at discount prices, had a very good Christmas but that most of the businesses at SkyCourt “generally found it was similar to last year, not the uplift we had probably expected”. Patrick Bourke, who has men’s clothes shops in Ennis and Kilrush, said there had been an improvement, albeit not a dramatic one. “We were busy, I have to say. We’d be up on last year, not hugely up. There were …

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Exiles boost for Clare business

EMIGRATION is one of the most regrettable effects of the recession but with masses returning from countries like Australia and Canada, Clare businesses are getting a Christmas lift. Patrick Bourke has men’s clothes shops in Kilrush and Ennis and he says that the ‘Australia effect’ is obvious at the moment. “There are an awful lot of people buying clothing when they come home. They’re travelling light on the way home because of carriage and it’s so hot over there, but when they come home they’re frozen.” One visitor to his shop had little option but to go shopping quickly. “A fella came home with one pair of jeans on him, his mother asked him to bring in coal and he dirtied his only jeans! He was going buying more, but that forced his hand to do it a bit earlier.” He says that pubs will probably get more business from people back home for short visits. “There was a fella …

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