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Tag Archives: retail

Huge level of commercial vacancies in Kilrush

THE latest GeoView commercial vacancy report has found that Kilrush is the town in Ireland with the second-highest rate of unused commercial buildings. In the last quarter of 2018, the Kilrush vacancy rate was 26.6%, with only Ballybofey in Donegal having a higher one. Kilrush declined since the last quarter of 2017, with the vacancy rate going up by nearly 2%. It is more than twice the Irish average of 13.2%. On a miserable Tuesday afternoon, few of the businesses in the centre of Kilrush were very busy but clothes shop owner Pat ‘Rico’ Clancy said things have been getting better. “It’s February. It’s not going to be busy anyway in February but, year on year, it’s going up for the last three or four years. There are more people coming through but people are cuter when they’re doing they’re shopping; they shop when you have sales.” His family has been in business in Kilrush for more than 150 years …

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Call for village ‘health checks’

A CO-ORDINATED and planned approach is needed to regenerate rural towns and villages throughout Clare, according to RGDATA director general, Tara Buckley. Her comments came after a Clare Champion survey of retail outlets has revealed numerous villages in West, North and East Clare no longer have a grocery shop. Several towns and villages in the county face the classic “chicken and egg” scenario – declining populations mean the numbers aren’t there to sustain certain rural services, and new people will not come unless these services are already in place. RGDATA is involved in a pilot project with the Irish Heritage Council to complete a health check in 10 towns throughout the country. Ms Buckley believes one of the best ways to tackle rural decline is to complete a town and village health check and devise a strategic plan to address its challenges and opportunities. In an interview with The Clare Champion, she acknowledges this approach may not benefit all rural …

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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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Retail sales on the rise

Retail Excellence, the largest retail industry representative body, has welcomed the 3.3% annualised increase in value in retail sales. Today (Tuesday) the Central Statistics Office (CSO) published its February 2017 retail sales index, which showed that, although the volume of non-motor retail sales rose by 1.2% compared to January 2017, the value of these annualised sales increased by 3.3%. Lorraine Higgins, of Retail Excellence, said, “We welcome this figure and the upward trend but would warn against being too optimistic. We have been contacted by many members in recent days who are experiencing very negative trading conditions. Some retailers are reporting like for like declines of upwards of 30% against March 2016”. “It is clear that consumer sentiment has been negatively impacted due to concerns about the impact of Brexit. The primary income in over 100,000 homes comes from a company which is dependent of export to the UK market (agri, food, drink). We also believe that there has been …

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Shannon Airport seeks retail partner

By Owen Ryan SHANNON Airport has launched a tender process to secure a partner to operate its historic travel retail outlet. The Shannon Group has also announced that it will rename its store Shannon Duty Free, the original name for the travel retail offering at Shannon, which was the global birthplace of duty free. It will happen when the current service agreement for the space, which has been known as The Loop for the last few years, winds up in June. The shop is currently operated by Shannon Airport Authority, under a transitional agreement with Aer Rianta International, following Shannon’s separation from the State Airport’s group at the start of 2013. However Shannon Group is now seeking a joint venture partner for the travel retail business and it formally advertised on the Moodies Report, the information website for the global travel retail sector. Announcing the decision to seek a joint venture, Shannon Group CEO Neil Pakey said; “In keeping with …

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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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