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Tag Archives: Retail Excellence

Retail body representative brands latest Covid plan ‘short-sighted’

THE Clare-based deputy head of Retail Excellence has described the government’s latest roadmap on the reopening of the economy and society as “frustrating,” and hit out at the lack specific detail and key targets. Award-winning retailer Jean McCabe said that the latest Living with Covid-19 plan, as outlined on Tuesday by Taoiseach Micheál Martin, was short on detail and difficult for people to buy into. “When you examine what was said, there was no reference or mention of the non-essential retail sector,” she said. “Everyone in business needs Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the latest announcement is very lacking in terms of the data and the number of cases we need to be at before we’ll be able to open our doors. Everyone needs to see clear goals, that makes the plan more achievable and what we’ve heard this week is very frustrating and quite short-sighted.” Ms McCabe said that while her clothing retail business, Willow, is well established online, …

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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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Gardaí confirm complaints over ‘breaches’ of retail rules

RETAILERS around the county are receiving visits from Gardaí to ensure compliance with Level 5 restrictions, amid controversy over which shops and products are deemed to be essential. Clare Gardaí have confirmed receiving a number of complaints about apparent breaches of the rules. Despite the government outlining 16 different categories of retail that can continue under the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions, confusion has arisen. Several members of the public have contacted The Champion to say that certain retail outlets appear to be open when they shouldn’t be. Similarly, many retailers who are deemed to be non-essential, have taken issue with the sale of clothing by supermarkets. Retail representative groups say members are angry and confused. “We’ve been asking the government to make all retail essential at this time of the year,” said CEO of Ennis-based Retail Excellence, Duncan Graham. “There was a palpable sense of shock when we moved to Level 5. People are very anxious, they’re very worried, …

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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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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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Retail Excellence to nominate for Seanad

Retail Excellence, Ireland’s largest retail representative body, has been admitted to the register of nominating bodies for Seanad Éireann elections. Retail Excellence, which operates from Ennis, can now select a candidate to contest the Seanad elections on the outside panel of the Industrial and Commercial Panel. Deputy CEO of Retail Excellence and former Senator Lorraine Higgins, said, “I am delighted to learn that Retail Excellence has been admitted to the register of nominating bodies to Seanad Éireann. As the largest retail representative body in Ireland with almost 2,000 members who operate in excess of 13,000 stores and employ over 130,000 staff we are honoured and delighted with this news. “This is a huge opportunity for our membership and retail in general and will help put the industry and it’s challenges on the national political agenda should our candidate be elected. “We now intend to invite political parties to put forward suitably qualified candidates which our board will vote on. The …

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€600b spend forecast for EU consumers in 2018

MORE and more Clare people are moving their shopping habits online, choosing to purchase items from the comfort of their own home, rather than making their way to the shops. Online sales have been growing steadily year on year and are expected to be an even more integral part of the marketplace in 2018. Recent phenomena like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have moved across the Atlantic and are now a firm fixture of the festive season in the Banner County. The trend towards increased cyber shopping was highlighted in recent statistics released by the Ennis-based Retail Excellence Ireland, showing that customers browsing for goods using their mobile phones in December increased by 60% on last year. However, now that the tinsel has been taken down, what do you do when there is a problem with the product you bought online in the lead up to Christmas? According to Paul Woulfe, manager of the Clare Citizens’ Information Centre, there are …

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Online sales trends up

Retail Excellence, the largest retail representative body, today (Monday) released the results of their December eCommerce Dashboard Report which monitors online sales trends in Ireland. The Retail Excellence / StudioForty9 eCommerce Dashboard Report is a monthly publication that has proven to be an invaluable tool for all retailers trading online. The report calculates key online metrics and allows retailers to benchmark their performance within their individual sector. December’s Report confirms there has been a 60% YOY increase in mobile browsing activity when compared to the same period in 2016. Desktop conversion rates decreased by 3% with the average quantity ordered across all devices (desktop, mobile and tablet) also falling by 16% YOY which we attribute to the success of Cyber Week. The pharmacy sector again recorded the highest desktop conversion rate of over 3% and almost 2% across mobile devices. This sector has continually displayed strong growth online over the past 12 months. eCommerce manager at Retail Excellence, David Campbell …

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