RT TIMES Q3 2017.qxp - Retail Excellence

RT TIMES Q3 2017.qxp - Retail Excellence

Q3 2017 www.retailexcellence.ie Waterford – A City on the Up Waterford on the Up Budget18 Page12 -15 Retail Excellence: Playing our part in sust...

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Q3 2017


Waterford – A City on the Up

Waterford on the Up


Page12 -15

Retail Excellence: Playing our part in sustaining and growing the economy

Waterford positions itself on a very aggressive growth trajectory

Page 23

to the Quarter 3 2017 edition of Retail Times irstly, I would like to thank the one thousand members and partners who attended the Retail Excellence Retail Retreat last May. It was a pleasure to spend time with our members and partners and to enjoy so many interesting and enlightening presentations. Preparations are already underway for Retreat ’18 which will be bigger and better again. In that context please note that next year’s Retreat will be a day and a half event over the Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th May. I urge all members to pencil those dates in your diary.


We are currently in a concerning phase in the economic cycle now that Brexit negotiations have commenced. The Board of Retail Excellence are fundamentally aware of the issues which impact our industry and I am pleased to confirm that our Member Council will host Members of the Oireachtas on 5th July for a Budget ’18 briefing outlining retail priorities. We will actively communicate the need to reduce consumption taxes, the cost of doing business in Ireland, the need for effective town centre investment, the requirement for appropriate supports to get retailers online, the issue of spiraling insurance costs and many other issues which negatively impact consumer demand. Suffice

to say we will be very clear as to what needs to get done. I am very much looking forward to the Awards this year which are being hosted on 11th November in the beautiful Malton Hotel Killarney. As you are aware we have modified the awards judging process this year and all of the Top100 stores will be brought through a rigorous retail excellence audit by external consultants. We believe this new process will greatly benefit these stores and guide them to ways in which they can be even better.

that the Board is representative of all our membership. In that context I am delighted to confirm the recent appointment of four members to the Board. Thank you Michelle O’Gorman (Kilkenny Group), Michelle McBride (Butlers Chocolates), Jean McCabe (Willow) and Darren Smyth (Shannon Group) for kindly accepting my invitation to join the Board. I would also like to thank Roisin Woods for her tremendous and invaluable contribution to the Retail Excellence Board and eCommerce Committee. Roisin has commenced a new chapter in her career and on behalf of all members I wish her all the very best. Finally, I look forward to meeting our members and partners at our post Budget ’18 Briefing on Tuesday October 10th. The format for the meeting will be an afternoon tour of some of the best stores in Dublin followed by dinner with Budget insights from Ivan Yates. Best regards,

Retail Excellence is a member led organisation and the executive team takes advice and direction from our Member Board. It is very important

Colm Carroll, Carrolls Irish Gifts | JP Kennedy, TileStyle | Oonagh O’Hagan, Meaghers Pharmacy Group Paul Kealy, Tony Kealys | Fergal Doyle, Arboretum | Richard Wehrly, Wehrly Brothers Jewellers Luke Moriarty, Moriarty SuperValu Group | David Myers, Heatons | Patrick McCormack, Sam McCauleys Michelle O’Gorman, Kilkenny Group | Jean McCabe, Willow Boutiques | Darren Smyth, Shannon Group Michelle McBride, Butlers Chocolates | David Fitzsimons, Retail Excellence Sharen McCabe, McCabes Pharmacy Group | Kevin Jephson, Ardkeen Quality Food Store Keith Rogers, Ecco Footwear



Mountain Warehouse, the UK outdoor specialist, has reported an increase in pre-tax profits to €22million, a 22% like for like improvement.

Boots has recruited the ex Reckitt Benckiser executive Richard Reed to the position of Trading Director United Kingdom and Ireland. Waterford City & County Council recently announced a €300million development on the city’s North Quay. Clarks has warned that the devaluation of sterling will have a profound impact on cashflow and profit. Profits dropped 43% to €22m in 2016. JD Sports has been given the green light by the UK competition authority to acquire the 58 store outdoor specialists Go Outdoors. Asda recently reported an eleventh consecutive quarter of falling sales. The supermarket giant reported a 2.8% like for like decline in quarter one 2017.

The Works is up to six ROI stores and growing The Works, the UK book, gift and toy retailer is planning a significant footprint in the Irish market. Commenting on the roll-out Richard Palmer, Divisional Manager The Works Stores Limited said at the opening of the company’s store in Blackpool Shopping Centre Cork: “We are delighted to open our 6th store in the Republic of Ireland and 2nd in the City of Cork adding to our estate of 385 stores in the UK and NI. Ireland is an important market for our continued expansion in the year ahead. It’s exciting to have such scope for bringing our unique range and value offering of books, gifting, stationery, art, craft and kids toy and book ranges to the Irish high street. There has been an amazing customer reaction from every store we have opened in the country so far and we’re looking forward to more soon, including our next store, in the Ilac Centre Dublin opening soon.”


Minister Heather Humphreys has recently announced a €20million town and village investment fund. The scheme is targeting towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000. Tesco has recently confirmed it is to sell its optical business in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom to Vision Express. Tesco Opticians operates three stores in Ireland and over two hundred in the UK. SuperValu’s food academy programme recently scooped a prestigious award at the European Business Awards. With over 30,000 entries and only ten awards presented, the win by SuperValu was very impressive. Marks and Spencer is planning to open nearly forty new stores across the United Kingdom with a strong focus on food. Online fashion retailer Misguided has recently reported a 75% increase like for like in full year sales. John Lewis has set aside €38million to cover costs associated with a potential breach of national minimum wage rules. Tesco boss Dave Lewis has recently reduced his salary by 10% despite the fortunes of the retailer improving.


Evolve lives up to their name with new suiting department

Leading menswear retailer, Evolve, has opened a new luxury suit department in their Letterkenny retail outlet. The design was a co-operation between Store Design and Evolve Menswear. The department has a contemporary gentlemen’s club atmosphere with chesterfield seating, table lamps and chocolate coloured timber features with modern merchandising systems and display props. Commenting on the investment Mark McCloskey, Company MD said: “The new department will serve our business well and contribute significantly to our ambition to grow as a leading destination menswear business”.

DREAMS ON THE BLOCK UK mattress retailer Dreams has been put up for sale with an estimated price tag of €420million. The retailer has brought in Rothchild to manage the sale and it is understood that there is significant interest coming from Milly the Chinese mattress manufacturer. It is also reported that UK mattress manufacturer Silent Night has also expressed interest in the acquisition. In 2013 Dreams was bought out of administration by private equity firm Sun European and since then the company has undergone a dramatic turnaround delivering pre-tax profits of €35m in 2016.

Private equity firm dreaming about a significant return on investment


GroMór Ambassador 2017 is Diarmuid Gavin

Diarmuid Gavin gets Growing with GroMór GroMór continues to go from strength to strength with Diarmuid Gavin as the National Ambassador for the 2017 campaign. Commenting on the campaign, Garden Group Manager, Keelan Bourke said: “This year we have seen a massive increase in national publicity which has positively impacted on our GroMór participants with many benefitting from double digit growth. Regional demonstrations and eye-catching point of sale material continue to create retail theatre and enhance the customer experience. Keep an eye out for event near you this summer.” To find a GroMór event near you visit www.Gromor.ie.


Every two years Retail Excellence asks tenants in the primary retail parks and shopping centres to rate the performance of those schemes. In the recently published shopping centre review Dundrum Town Centre and Liffey Valley Shopping Centre rated best while Mahon Point Retail Park rated as the best performing retail park. Commenting on the reviews David Fitzsimons Chief Executive Retail Excellence said: “There was a marginal improvement in the performance of centres and parks since the prior review in 2015. That said a significant concern is the desire by many retailers to exit schemes at the next break in their lease. While this has a lot to do with the fact that many retailers have simply too much retail space, a significant other contributor to the desire to exit is the implementation of Celtic tiger rents on legacy lease holders. Landlords need to get real and work in partnership with their tenants.”



Ikea has recently announced they will add one thousand three hundred jobs to their expanding United Kingdom retail footprint.

Iceland recently opened their thirteenth store in the Republic of Ireland with nine more in the 2017 pipeline. Next CEO Lord Wolfson’s salary has been reduced by 58%. The retail boss’s new salary is now €2million per annum.

Coffee heritage inspires Insomnia redesign

MMA fighter buys into Chopped

A concerning fact is the considerable number of retail tenants wanting to exit schemes

A fire at a Berlin Asos warehouse destroyed over two million units of stock.

Chopped going from strength to strength with Chris Fields Chopped recently announced the opening of a store in the Ilac Centre with Chopped’s newest franchisee, MMA fighter Chris Fields. The new store opening follows months of planning to ensure Fields’ first venture into the nutrition industry will be a success. The store is part of 20 new Chopped outlets to be opened in 2017, creating 320 new jobs in Ireland, as well as Chopped’s expansion to the UK, opening six stores in Britain. The new Chopped Ilac will be the first to feature Chopped’s new store design and menu. The new menu will feature nine new salads including Super Food Chicken, Hot Oak Smoked Salmon and Lebanese Falafel. Brian Lee, cofounder and managing director of Chopped said: “We’re delighted to be opening our newest Chopped in the Ilac Centre with Chris. I love training with Chris and I’m looking forward to working with him to make sure our newest Chopped is as successful as our other outlets.”

Insomnia recently opened its newest flagship store in St. Stephens Green Shopping Centre, Dublin. Insomnia has enjoyed excellent growth and has the 6th fastest coffee chain growth in Europe with an impressive portfolio of 140 stores across Ireland and the UK with a significant expansion plan going forward. Other 2017 openings include Drumcondra, Cavan, Mallow, Belfast, Mary Street and, in Q4, Insomnia will open its first store in Germany. By year end Insomnia will have 175 stores across Ireland, UK and Germany. The new store design reflects Insomnia’s coffee heritage whilst also taking and combining inspiration from vintage tea shops and industrial urban lofts. A welcoming and comfortable space using fabrics and natural finishes punctuated with quirky and fun branding evokes a great ambience. Commenting on the expansion Bobby Kerr, Insomnia Chairman said: “We are 20 years in business this year and I always think brands are constantly evolving, it’s really more an evolution of where we are, continuing to deliver the quality message backed up with great service and quality products.”.

Insomnia Chairman Bobby Kerr and Managing Director Harry O’Kelly were on hand to open their newest concept store


JACK & JONES ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH DUBLIN GAA Jack & Jones has recently announced they have joined forces with Dublin GAA and signed a deal making the fashion brand the official menswear partner to Dublin GAA. Commenting on the news Tara O’Brien PR & Marketing Manager Bestseller Ireland said: “We are delighted to kick start the new season with such a natural fitting partnership. Dublin GAA is determined and proves time after time they never give up on their dreams. Each season the senior football and hurling teams put their best foot forward on the pitch, and now this will be seen off the pitch with the latest tailoring and luxe wardrobeessentials from Premium by Jack & Jones. Staying true to Jack & Jones Scandinavian roots, the Dublin players and management will look classic, versatile yet have a cool contemporary edge to their style. We look forward to embracing this new partnership and creating effortless menswear for both teams to look sharp and live smart.” Tomás Quinn Commercial & Marketing Manager Dublin GAA said: “Dublin GAA is delighted to welcome Jack & Jones on board as our new Official Menswear Partner. We are excited about this new relationship and look forward to working together in the years ahead.” Dublin GAA looking good on and off the pitch

Meubles Kilkenny celebrates 45 Years in business in style

June last saw the launch of Meubles 45 days of celebration at their leading showroom on the outskirts of Kilkenny City attended by customers, staff and family. Over three hundred and fifty past and new customers were invited to the store to thank them for their support and custom during the past 45 years and to show them the latest ranges Meubles has available. Those that attended were treated to lots of great wines, canapés and were also shown Meubles new eCommerce website which was launched earlier this year. Founded by local Kilkenny couple Eamonn & Maureen O’Keeffe in 1972, the business has gone from strength to strength culminating in the launch of a Customers with Dara O’Reilly-Daly Head of Online at Meubles and Rose 50,000 sq.ft. store at Kilkenny Retail Park in 2008. O’Keeffe, Meubles Buyer

Create a team culture where high performance is second nature Retailers regularly say ‘we are only as good as our people’ but often spend far more time minding and investing in other areas of the business. Bearing this in mind, Retail Excellence has recently released the autumn dates for the Retail Management Development Programme (RMDP) and also the information on their brand new and exciting programme ‘Advanced Leadership Skills for the Retail Manager’. Retail Times recently met with Helen O’Dowd, Head of Learning & Events with Retail Excellence and asked her about this new programme. “Over the past 5 seasons of the RMDP, we have listened to the Managers speaking about their concerns in next level of their position and their need to learn more about the tricky topics such as recruitment skills, performance management, work place policies, time management and generally how to create culture where high performance is second nature, not an effort. We have put together a 2 day programme which Tommy Smyth (Tom Smyth & Associates) will facilitate and contribute alongside experts such as Jon Bradshaw, The Meetology Lab, John Ryan, CEO Great Place to Work Institute, Conor McCarthy, Kiazen Performance and David Meade – Unlocking High Performance”. The Retail Management Development Programme will run over 4 days in September and October with the Advanced Leadership Skills for the Retail Manager taking place on 25th and 26th September. Both programmes will take place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown. For further information, contact [email protected] | 065 6846 927 or www.retailexcellence.ie.

Raheny Store Brings The Butler’s Pantry to Eleven The Butler’s Pantry recently opened its second northside branch in Raheny Shopping Centre on the Howth Road. This brings to eleven its total number of stores, nine in Dublin, with branches also in Bray and Greystones. “It’s a great way to mark thirty years of The Butler’s Pantry,” said Jacquie Marsh, Managing Director. “And we are delighted that Clontarf is no longer our only outpost north of the Liffey. We remain true to the core values that have defined The Butler’s Pantry since the very beginning: making fresh food by hand and from scratch in our own kitchen, and delivering it to all our stores twice daily.” Impressive eleventh store for The Butler’s Pantry


Creating champions with Retail Excellence


• • • • • • • •• • • • • •• • • • • • • • •• • • • • • • • • •• • • •• • • •• • • Regatta Great Outdoors has recently announced the creation of 100 new jobs in Ireland with the opening of several new stores nationwide including key locations in Galway, Dublin and Waterford. The Cork based company started life in Ireland in 2000 when Brian Fox was appointed as a sales representative for the brand and sold to buyers from his own garage in his home. With rapid growth, Regatta opened their first concession in Shaws of Wexford in 2004, expanding to 18 concession stores by 2009 and finally opening the first standalone store in Limerick in 2011. Proving very successful for the brand, they now have eleven standalone stores across the country with seven more openings planned this year. Regatta Ireland Director, Brian Fox, commenting on the announcement said “The expansion of the Regatta brand in Ireland is to satisfy customer demand, which has grown due to the affordable product range we have available in our stores. There is a strong market for what we offer in Ireland, which is both fashion and technical outdoor wear as well as advanced footwear and camping ranges. We are delighted to see our business growing following some turbulent years in Ireland as we are creating new jobs in local areas. We look forward to continued growth and success in the coming years.” Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Brian Fox of Regatta

• • • • • • • • •• • • •• • • • • • • •Retail •• •Retreat • • •Best • Yet • • • • • • • • •• • • • • • • • • •• •

Retail Excellence held their annual Retail Retreat in Croke Park last May. Over one thousand delegates attended the conference and expo. Commenting on the Retreat Helen O’Dowd Head of Events at Retail Excellence said: “We were very eager for the Retreat to appeal to all members, both large and small, and we were delighted with the positive feedback from all delegates. The Retreat aims to provide our Members with time out of their business to strategize, spend time with fellow members and meet with so many of our progressive partners. We have commenced planning for Retreat ’18 and welcome all suggestions as to how to make it an even bigger and better event.”

Portwest invests locally in Connacht Rugby

Connacht Rugby and Portwest have recently announced a new three year jersey sponsorship deal. This is the first foray into the world of rugby for outdoor and workwear company Portwest. The company logo will appear on the sleeve of the new jersey which will be unveiled in July. Owned by brothers Cathal, Harry and Owen Hughes, Portwest is the fastest growing workwear company in the world and confidently expect turnover to reach €350 million by 2021. Portwest has three high street outdoor stores in Galway and Westport. Commenting on the new partnership, Portwest Group Chairman Cathal Hughes welcomed the new partnership, saying, “We are very happy to work with Connacht Rugby. Although we are a global company, we remain strongly committed to supporting our local community. This is an ideal opportunity to partner with The Retail Excellence Retail Retreat attended by over one thousand delegates a proud sporting team who carry the west of Ireland standard high wherever they go.”



the NUMBERS 11

The percentage increase in sales in 2016 at Dublin and Cork Airports


The percentage of Irish households which buy an Avonmore product every 2 weeks


Halo celebrates

Forty Five Years in Business

The number of jobs Penneys has created in the Greater Boston Area Architect Dermot Bannon was on hand to enjoy the celebrations


The number of countries in which Penneys now trades


The percentage of Irish consumers who say food prices are rising


The number of new stores Lidl plans to open in Ireland in the next 5 years


The average euro amount spent on an engagement ring in Ireland

Halo Tiles & Bathrooms of Camolin, County Wexford recently celebrated their forty fifth year milestone with a Summer BBQ party and special guest architect Dermot Bannon held a design presentation exclusively for attendees. Father and son team Tom and Patrick Doyle, have established Halo Tiles & Bathrooms as one of Ireland’s definitive retailers of superior tiles, flooring and bathrooms. Their wealth of industry experience is valued by both consumers and professionals who trust their expertise. Reflecting on the 45 years, Halo Tiles & Bathrooms Managing Director Patrick Doyle said: “This is a tremendous milestone for our company. From my father’s first warehouse in 1972 where he began selling tiles to having 14 outlets nationwide, is a great achievement for an Irish company, that we are very proud of.

Retail Excellence Food Safari in London


Without doubt, Irish people are fascinated by food. The millennials in particular influence how we think food, how we buy food, how we eat food. They want something different experiential, visually attractive, affordable and healthy. Food isn’t only about good nutrition anymore, what you eat says a lot about your identity to your family and friends. It’s time to make their day and give them the experience they crave! Retail Excellence and Matthew Brown, the Echochamber will take to the streets and markets of London in September for an extraordinary Food Safari. Retail Times caught up with Matthew recently to find out more about the trip ‘I’m really looking forward to leading this Safari for Retail Excellence Food Sector Members. We are going to begin the day with a food trends presentation and then make our way to ofi Covent Garden. We’ll continue on through the day visiting all the le ove most amazing food places on this side of the City while taking in the r th on irty world famous Borough Market and also Old Street where we will explore ond of the s in L e b c e a l s t p f d o o The Bike Shed – a venue which truly delivers innovative and unusual food concepts and also visit the supercool hipster food court – Dinerama. Onwards then to Kings Cross which is one of the largest and most exciting developments in London. What was an underused industrial wasteland, has been transformed into an extraordinary new piece of London which houses an incredible fusion of fashion, art, food and drinks. No point in going to all these amazing places without sampling and savouring the delights so during the day, we will stop at two of the best food experiences – Mercato Metropolitano and Drake & Morgan! For full details on the Food Safari go to www.retailexcellence.ie | contact [email protected]





The percentage of the world population which drinks Coca Cola daily

p to


The billions of times which Angry Birds game has been downloaded


Varadkar appointment a positive for retail

Retail Excellence welcomes Varadkar appointment Ireland’s largest retail representative body has welcomed the appointment of Leo Varadkar as An Taoiseach. Commenting on the appointment David Fitzsimons, Retail Excellence Chief Executive said: “We are very pleased that Leo Varadkar has won the nomination to be Ireland’s next Taoiseach. Leo has been a significant supporter of Retail Excellence and the Irish Retail Industry over the years and in each of his Ministerial briefs he has been very responsive to the needs of Ireland’s largest industry - retail. As Transport Minister, he established the Luas Cross City Review Group to ensure that disruption during the construction phase was minimal and recently as Social Protection Minister we worked together to construct job activation solutions especially around seasonal work opportunities in retail.”

DPD Ireland launches Nationwide Food Logistics delivery service DPD Ireland has entered the agri-food market with the launch of a storage and fulfilment facility dedicated to the industry. To date the company has invested €500,000 into its new division. Through an integrated warehouse management system, the company can link directly into the shipper’s order management software and provide tracking details from storage to fulfilment to dispatch and delivery. DPD has a range of “smart boxes” available to control temperature throughout the delivery process, including specially designed totes containing eutectic and insulation plates. Gavin Warwick, General Manager Logistics at DPD Ireland said: “Food logistics and delivery in Ireland has enormous potential. The challenge for the supplier up to now has been to ensure delivery within very strict time limits to guarantee freshness and quality on delivery. The DPD Food offering, which includes the ‘Predict’ messaging service, provides the consumer with the exact hour of delivery and offers them the flexibility to opt for delivery to a neighbour or to a safe place. This ensures that deliveries are made speedily, punctually and reliably.” Food logistics a game changer for DPD

Molloy Group Launch New Concept Store The Molloy Group has recently invested in a new concept store in Tallaght, Dublin. The Molloys Merchants of Wine, Liquor & Beer store delivers a sharper and more experiential format with greater choice for consumers. Commenting on the news Richard Molloy, Director Molloy Group said: “My Grandfather bought a pub and grocer merchants in Tallaght in 1933 so we are proud to be going back to Tallaght to launch the next chapter of our stores and once again calling ourselves Merchants. We import our own exclusive wines directly from the producer which cuts out the middle man and allows us to provide our customers with better quality wines at better prices. We have one of the largest ranges of craft beer in the country with over 400 different craft beers in stock. And we now stock a huge range of premium and unique spirits. We have many mixers & flavoured tonics to compliment your favourite spirit”! An exciting new chapter for the Molloy Group



Waterford positions itself on a very aggressive growth trajectory



THE downturn in Waterford's economy was severe and is well documented and in the past has dominated national headlines with major closures including two of a scale that resulted in large job losses in Waterford Crystal and in Talk Talk. Recognising that tackling Waterford's economic problems would need to be driven from local level, Waterford City & County Council identified areas on which they could have direct impact and which would position Waterford to be ready for a future economic upturn. Tackling major infrastructure deficits became a key priority for the Council which resulted in the completion of a €500m city bypass in October 2009, 10 months ahead of schedule. This was followed in March 2010 by the completion of the €1.5bn M9 which enhanced connectivity between Waterford City and Dublin reducing commuting times to approximately 90 minutes which has greatly improved Waterford's attractiveness as a location for inward investment and importantly got Waterford back on IDA itineraries for potential investors. In tandem with investment in capital infrastructure, Waterford Council stepped outside the limitations of the traditional role of the local authority in the area of economic development and began to work directly with the other economic development agencies including the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, FÁS and City Enterprise Board (now SOLAS and LEO) to put in place supports to help grow indigenous enterprises and to help attract new inward investment. On a practical level this included linking FÁS, as the national training agency, with industries seeking skilled staff and working with the IDA to have sites ready for new large scale manufacturing companies. The benefits of this forward thinking were rewarded when West Pharmaceuticals took a 44acre site to build a new world class manufacturing facility. The €100m investment created 100 jobs during the construction phase and will employ 300 when fully operational. Large industry wasn't the only area to suffer in Waterford and the downturn severely impacted on the city centre resulting in a large number of vacant retail units. The downturn created an opportunity and the drive to redefine the city centre as a destination by developing a tourism use built on Waterford's status of Ireland's oldest city, animating the space and enhancing the retail offering.

The soon to be completed Apple Market roof is an impressive structure - Ireland's first street with a roof.

Developing Waterford as a Destination

world's first virtual reality Viking experience, joint funded by Waterford Council and Fáilte Ireland.

The closure of the Waterford Crystal manufacturing facility and Visitor Centre in January 2010, which at its peak attracted 315,000 visitors to Waterford, was a significant blow to Waterford and the region's economy, but it also created an opportunity. Waterford Council had identified a new focus on the potential for tourism to become a key economic driver.

The city centre is also one of the gateways to the recently opened Waterford Greenway, linking Waterford City with Dungarvan and also creating an economic boost for the many towns located along the 46km Greenway. The now extensive tourism offering in Waterford is starting to reap the benefits for the city with increasing tourist numbers, longer stays and importantly greater spend.

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A vision was already being developed for a new tourism quarter in Waterford Animating the ‐ the now award winning city centre Waterford Viking Triangle. The catalyst for the development of Recognising that developing the Waterford Viking Triangle was Waterford as a destination the re‐location of the Waterford required more than capital No Crystal Visitor Centre into the city infrastructure, Waterford Council has f rth er at Qu centre. The retention of this globally also focussed on animating the city W ay g in de rat recognised brand has been the key to centre and has successfully developed a year ve lop rpo co me n i developing tourism in the city centre. The new round programme of festivals attracting a local, nt w n o i t ill in na clude desi House of Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre, which regional and national audience. Key headline sitor a 10,000 s quare meter vi opened in June 2010 and employs 188, has Bishop's festivals include the nationally recognised Spraoi created a flagship retail unit and landmark Palace opened in June 2011 and The Medieval arts festival running over the August bank holiday building in the heart of the Viking Triangle Museum opened in August 2012. These new weekend (known locally as the Spraoi weekend), attracting almost 200,000 visitors annually. attractions are complimented by a large scale the Waterford Harvest Food Festival in At the same time as works were progressing on programme of public realm works and the re‐ September and in November, Waterford the re‐location of the Waterford Crystal Visitor location of the Tourist Office to the heart of the becomes Ireland's Christmas Capital with the Centre, a Master Plan for the new Viking Triangle Viking Triangle. The almost €30m cost of these start of the Winterval festival which this year runs was being prepared. The Master Plan is still works was funded by Waterford Council, Fáilte from November 17th to December 23rd and being delivered and to date has resulted in the Ireland, the ERDF and the Department of attracts almost 500,000 over the duration of the opening of two new world class museums: the Transport. More recently, Waterford opened the festival and boosts local retail sales.


David Fitzsimons Chief Executive Retail Excellence and Lar Power Economic Development Director Waterford City & County Council viewing the North Quay site which has been designated as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ)

Enhancing the retail offering Waterford Council again demonstrated their ability to think outside the traditional role of a local authority and was one of the first local authorities to develop an incentive scheme for new retailers. Launched in October 2013, the scheme targeted retail sectors where Waterford was underperforming including clothing, footwear, home wares and artisan/craft producers. The scheme provided a grant towards fit out costs or rates offering a potential equivalent 300% or 175% rebate on rates over a three year period. The scheme which operates until December 2018 has already successfully attracted a number of new retail businesses to the city reducing the number of vacant units.

Return on investment Waterford City began to see the fruits of its efforts in 2013 when the real economic turnaround started locally with a string of new

investments in the city from both multinationals and indigenous firms. Of major significance was the transition from traditional low skilled manufacturing to high tech manufacturing in pharma and med tech with announcements of investment from multi nationals including West, Sanofi, Bausch+Lomb and Opko (Eirgen). Also of significance is the emergence of a strong IT base supported by TSSG in WIT and the spin out of success stories such as NearForm and RedHat. Professional services are also experiencing growth with the attraction of new investment from global players such as Tech Mahindra and SE2.

Continuing city centre investment The Apple Market is an area in the heart of Waterford City which was traditionally a location for trading since the 18th Century. It is now home to the largest concentration of bars, clubs and restaurants in the South East of Ireland. As part of a larger scheme of urban renewal across the city centre, Waterford Council began a process of reconsidering how people could use this space and how the space could become an exciting and dynamic space for the people of Waterford and visitors.

The reinvention of this area is being achieved through the erection of a triangular canopy which was designed to be a modern version of the traditional market covering associated with The Apple Market. This new urban space will benefit all the people of Waterford acting as a new public space, it will allow for events and activities to run all year round. For visitors to Waterford, this canopy will function as a new landmark for the beginning of the main spine into the city centre and it will also act as an entrance to the future retail Apple Market development. From an economic perspective, the surrounding businesses will be able to take advantage of outdoor seating to the front of their properties adding a whole new element of activity and vibrancy to the area. Recognising that it is not enough to ‘build it and they will come’, Waterford Council are working with local businesses to facilitate the establishment of a Management Company and to begin the process of considering how they would manage this new facility to ensure The recently opened that Waterford Greenway between Waterford City continues to be and Dungarvan an attractive has been a tremendous evening and success night time destination and continues to meet the standards of the Purple Flag initiative.

Private sector comes on board Waterford is now experiencing the benefits of a new investor confidence and the public sector investment that has been ongoing over the last number of years is now being matched by the private sector. Following a major redevelopment in 2009, Penneys opened a new 2,000m2 of prime retail space in the heart of the city centre. More recently in 2014, Penneys demonstrated their ongoing confidence in Waterford by extending to 4,112m2 creating a

The redevelopment of the North Quay will see cruise ships berth in the city



Further investment in the retail offering is due to commence shortly with the granting of planning permission for 10,000 m2 of retail space and a 385 space multi storey car park for the Apple Market Shopping Centre in the heart of the city centre. This is to be delivered by a Saudi investor, Al Hokair, of the Al Hokair Group known internationally for their investment in tourism, hospitality and retail. The group are expected to invest €270m in Waterford to deliver the Apple Market retail development and a mixed‐use development on the city’s North Quays.

Waterford City has an impressive retail mix including many innovative independents including the new Tony Roche Menswear store

further 55 jobs bringing the total n u m b e r employed to 155. In 2015, City S q u a r e Shopping Centre was bought for in excess of €21m and is currently being redeveloped with 1,700 m2 being added which will include a new unit facing out onto Arundel Square and inside Peter Street Mall, a new food court and the expansion of units with the centre. The development is due to open in November 2017. In tandem with the retail sector, the hospitality sector is also experiencing new investment. Two landmark hotels ‐ the Tower Hotel and the former Jury’s Hotel, which overlooks the city, have recently been purchased with the intention of complete redevelopment. This investment is seen as a direct response to the level of public investment that has been made in the tourism product and the public realm over the last number of years.


Extending the city centre to the North Quays Perhaps the most significant development coming on stream is the extension of the city centre across the River Suir to the North Quays where a 17 acre site has been designated as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) for mixed use development. The new site will include 30,000m2 of retail space, 10,000m2 of office space to accommodate approximately 800 people, and 2,000 parking spaces. Tourists and business visitors will be catered for with a new 200 bed hotel, 5,000m2 of conference facilities and 10,000m2 of visitor destination incorporating Waterford Crystal and a facility for cruise ships to berth in the heart of the city.

What next for Waterford City? Given all that is happening in the city, it’s hard to think that there is much left to do but Waterford Council is not one to rest on their laurels as they continue to work to ensure that Waterford City is truly a Gateway City and the economic driver of the South East. Lar Power, Director of Economic Development & Planning in Waterford Council, is quick to point out that “the time is now ripe to build on this new air of confidence in the city” and to continue to support existing businesses and to attract new investment across all sectors. Given all that Waterford has to offer with an exceptional quality of life and low cost of living, Waterford is definitely one to watch. Waterford City has an impressive tourism offer including the Medieval Museum which opened in 2012

Quality of life and year round vibrancy are key considerations in this development which in addition to the commercial development will include 300 residential units, 1,500m2 for crèche facilities and 30,000m2 of green spaces. Connectivity is also a key element of this project which includes a plan to relocate the existing Plunkett Train Station to the heart of the development and the inclusion of a public transport interchange. It is expected that during the two year construction phase, 1,000 construction jobs will be created and once complete there is potential for 3,000 permanent jobs on site. Tourist numbers could reach up to 2million with an estimated total footfall of 10million per annum.



STOCKTAKING TIPS The benefits of outsourcing your stocktake A study by Stocktaking.ie on the benefit of stocktaking and the relationship between Flying Tiger Ireland and Stocktaking.ie. To understand the benefits of stocktaking, Patrick McDermott of Stocktaking.ie sat down with Niall Stringer to discuss the benefits of outsourcing stocktaking and the positive effect this has had on Flying Tiger and their day to day operation. Tiger's key issues with stocktaking were the challenges involved with training staff to undertake stocktakes. “Our main challenge initially was that staff would change during the year so by the time the next stocktake was to take place the staff would not know what a stocktake was or how to carry it out.” In hiring Stocktaking.ie to carry out their stocktakes, Flying Tiger’s main challenge of training staff was eliminated, instantly. The introduction of an outsourced stocktaking service provided Flying Tiger with the knowledge that more value was added, than was first anticipated.


Since outsourcing

Flying Tiger are a retail brand based in stocktaking Copenhagen, Denmark with 770 stores of Flying Tiger have since become more quirky Danish design, across 30 focused on accuracy and product countries. They are a variety store, levels. packed with an ever‐changing Flying Tiger’s “We moved from a single selection of fun and purpose for stocktaking to 6‐ stocktaking decision affordable things. 7 key pieces of information “it comes down to scalability, Niall, Ernst & Young needed for the business”. the most efficient way Entrepreneur of the Year Stocktaking has helped finalist 2016, is the for us to stocktake and Flying Tiger in building up a Managing Director of Flying to reach the level picture of their stock Tiger in Ireland. Niall has we require, throughout the year, and a overseen their expansion is to outsource to better understanding of their from one store in Dun products. This is along with Stocktaking.ie”. Laoghaire 2011 to their current assisting them in having an overall 26 stores (as of April 2017). better stock management system. “We know what products are high on the Prior to outsourcing agenda for theft, the reports allow us to Stocktaking easily see what is missing and work out our Prior to outsourcing their stocktaking, Flying losses.”.

What Stocktaking has helped Flying Tiger to achieve • No staff training needed ‐ Stocktaking.ie provide professional counters, who are “drilled and trained in providing a uniformed count”. • Efficiency ‐ Stocktaking.ie's technology allow "ten scanners going at once, that can feed information back in to one place and have reports instantly.” • Communication ‐ Flying Tiger have one point of contact within Stocktaking.ie, so all queries or issues are dealt with easily. • Reduction in stock units by 34% ‐ Niall believes that this is due to “a better understanding of the stock, what sells and what doesn’t”. Reporting has allowed them to look more closely at their stock, helping reach this level. • Knowledge of Numbers ‐ reports presented on the day allow Flying Tiger to know “exactly what’s in store”. • Control over counts‐ Rechecking real‐time verification of counts. • Peace of mind‐ No fear around “what the reports will show up, as Flying Tiger built a picture of what to expect, shop by shop”. • Effortless stocktaking‐ Stocktaking is not an “arduous task anymore”. Flying Tiger's managers have the store rooms ready so little preparation is needed when they are due a stocktake. • Stocktaking.ie have a Flying Tiger store display unit in their training facility to assist in the training of team members on how to count Flying Tigers stock in advance of undertaking their stocktakes. • As part of Stocktaking.ie’s ISO certification, there are procedures pre‐ and‐post stocktake. Flying Tiger found these a building point on “developing a common language and a great working relationship, making everything so simple”.

We are happy to discuss any of the above information or what we can do for your business on 091 762 001.





Are you a Victim of your eCommerce Success? eCommerce is your shop window on the world. The ultimate liberator for businesses trying to crack international markets. Potential customers across the globe can find you with just a few clicks of a mouse or strokes of a keyboard.

Or is it a nightmare waiting to happen? Even the best businesses can find themselves falling victim to unexpected eCommerce success. The problem frequently arises as a result of non‐ unification with the rest of the business. This oversight often stems from eCommerce being seen as an additional revenue source, rather than a core business function. Companies decide to augment sales by adding an online channel but do not put much more thought into the project, as it is assumed that eCommerce would never amount to a significant proportion of sales.

GAVIN PEACOCK, Group CEO of TRC Solutions

generally and the growing popularity of the channel over more traditional interactions, the extent of the problem has increased to the point where it is actually impairing the performance of many businesses. From a purely administrative perspective, businesses run into problems with mounting numbers of orders in a queue to be dealt with by the accounts department. The business may not have any way of accounting for these additional sales using its current systems. Without integration between inventory and accounts, inefficiencies arise, resulting in lost orders and incorrect financial reporting.

Return Rates of 60% In this scenario, as sales increase, problems start to mount. These issues usually manifest in the crucial area of order fulfilment. Manual systems which were adequate to deal with initial low sales volumes can become overwhelmed quite quickly. In these circumstances, orders coming in through the online system can end up being stacked in a holding pattern awaiting attention from already busy staff members.

Manual Reconciliation and Delayed Order Processing Even in cases where the manual systems are performing well in terms of delivering on customer expectations, there can still be problems relating to payment. The fact that the eCommerce sales channel has never been integrated with other systems in the business means there is a delay between payment, notifying the sales team and dispatching the order. These issues were probably just minor irritants when the flow of online orders remained at a trickle. However, with the growth in eCommerce

Another major problem for businesses which are successfully trading online is returns. In our experience, return rates can reach 60% for certain retail verticals and in some cases, the returned items must be sent back to a supplier for resolution. The absence of an integrated system can result in chaos. Goods returns must be checked and repackaged before being returned to a supplier for replacement or refund. Faulty product must be requisitioned from supply chain and dispatched to the customer. With no means of overall control, the effectiveness of this key process is variable at best, resulting in loss of revenue and dissatisfied customers. The answer to all these problems is surprisingly simple ‐ unification. With TRC Solutions’ range of eCommerce options, we improve customer experience, increase instore / online sales, streamline returns management, eliminate human error and vastly improve financial performance. Why not discuss your existing or new eCommerce solution with an SAP Business One Retail Industry Specialist from TRC Solutions?

TRC Solutions, TRC House, Dundrum, Dublin, D14 AE40, Ireland Phone: +353 1 2963155 Email: [email protected] Web: www.trcsolutions.ie




E-COMMERCE David Campbell, Retail Excellence eCommerce Manager

Retail Excellence eCommerce 2017 This year the Retail Excellence eCommerce Committee have continued to make excellent progress by supporting members trading online both in Ireland and across the globe. Highlights include the extremely successful Facebook training day in April where over 110 member retailers attended. The Facebook experts guided attendees through a Social Media masterclass covering platforms such as Facebook, Messenger & Instagram giving all delegates invaluable insights into how they can improve their digital strategies. On May 2nd Lorraine Higgins and David Campbell presented in Brussels at the Ecommerce Europe Board of Directors meeting. The Retail Excellence Irish eCommerce Trustmark has been recognised as best in class across the EU and on the day David Campbell provided insights into the latest A/B testing conducted by Retail Excellence / StudioForty9. Key findings included a 26% increase in conversion rates and customers actively seeking a Trustmark logo when shopping online especially on UK sites. Retail Excellence launched their partnership with Twitter on May 24th where 100 members attended a Twitter seminar designed to assist SME’s using this Social Media platform. The morning provided an interactive experience for all involved and Paddy Power gave an excellent case study presentation. The eCommerce Dashboard report has seen a large increase in participation and new sectors will be added later this year. To contribute to the reports please contact [email protected] Lastly, we would like to thank Róisín Woods for her brilliant service in her role as eCommerce Chairperson over the past two years. She has played a pivotal role in launching the Irish Trustmark, training courses and member education resources. We wish Róisín all the best in the future and we are delighted to have Paul Kealy from Tony Kealys as the new chairperson of the Committee.

Retail Excellence represents Ireland at Global eCommerce Round Table On Monday 12th June Retail Excellence attended the prestigious Global eCommerce Round Table in Barcelona. The event was in conjunction with the Annual Global eCommerce Summit. Retail Excellence represented Ireland to discuss the latest global cross‐border eCommerce trends. In 2017 eCommerce growth across the Europe has grown by 13.62% YOY and it is expected that €602 billion will be spent online across EU for 2017. Issues discussed included VAT, Regulations, Logistics and how the multiple National Associations can work together to support online growth across the globe. Delegates included China, Asia, Russia and South Africa to name a few which highlights the fantastic diversity of delegates at the conference. The international Q&A session was chaired by Robert Liscia, President of the Italian eCommerce association Netcomm. Global market place opportunities were debated including how SME’s are partnering with Amazon to sell their goods across global markets and how Alibaba is providing an online selling platform for smaller firms in China. Roberto Liscia emphasised that “Small firms must invest in technology in order to remain competitive”. Another key issue discussed was the planned launch of a Global eCommerce Trustmark. This will be in partnership with the Ecommerce Europe Trustmark in order to help support member retailers trading safely within international


markets. By the year 2020 it is expected that 29% of all B2C eCommerce will be cross‐border. The Irish eCommerce Trustmark has been regarded as best in class across Europe and we will continue to provide best in class online support to all our members trading within Ireland and abroad.


The Retail Excellence delegation enjoying the Global eCommerce Summit

Carrolls Irish Gifts represent Ireland at the EU Entrepreneurial Awards Following on from winning the prestigious Website of the Year Award, Carrolls Irish Gifts were selected to represent Ireland in Barcelona at the EU Entrepreneurial Awards. On Tuesday 13th June Brian Howe presented on the online journey of Carrolls Irish Gifts and how they have rapidly evolved their eCommerce offering in recent years. Brian is an active member of the Retail Excellence eCommerce Committee and delivered a fantastic pitch to the European jury panel. Carrolls Irish Gifts is one of the most progressive retailers in Ireland both online and offline having come through multiple Retail Excellence training courses including the renowned Google Incubation Programme. This was a brilliant opportunity showcasing the success of the Carrolls Irish Gifts digital evolution and how they provide a world class service to their customers all across the world. Commenting at the conference Brian Howe said “it was great to represent Ireland and to network over a number of days with like‐minded professionals operating in the eCommerce space. It's amazing how the same types of problems tend to pop up regardless of the eCommerce market or service offering". Having seen excellent success within international markets such as America and Germany, Carrolls Irish Gifts is a prime example of an Irish business taking on the global stage and Brian Howe was an excellent representative for Ireland at the Global eCommerce Summit conference. At the same event Lorcan O’ Connor from Carrolls Irish Gifts represented Ireland in the policy seminar discussing VAT rates across the globe. Commenting on the event Lorcan said “this was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the global VAT rates and provided invaluable insights into the various eCommerce markets”.

Click and Collect … The Triple Barrel Benefit Compub.com celebrated their first birthday in June but the journey began well before that in terms of planning, design and testing. As many companies showcased by the Retail Excellence eCommerce Committee over the last number of years have attested to, ‘patience is indeed a virtue’ when it comes to rolling out an eCommerce site that makes the customer want to come back for more. We were delighted therefore to recently roll out Click and Collect on compub.com after spending over six months road testing the service. The initial uptake across our 6 six stores across Dublin, Cork, Limerick & Galway has been hugely encouraging and is already delivering a Triple Barrel Benefit in terms of Customer Experience, Shop floor staffing and increased Bottom Line. Customer Experience – Since Click and Collect went live the traditional online customers can now choose between same day collection or home delivery depending on what suits their busy schedules. In addition our traditional in‐store customers can now check what is available in their local Compu b before they visit. Shop Floor Staffing – In the personal technology space we operate, the average in store customer interaction can range from five to fifteen minutes. With click and collect transactions, this interaction becomes a two‐minute collection process freeing up staff to engage with in store customers who may need the extra bit of information and attention to complete a purchase. Increased Bottom Line ‐ There is probably a fear out there that Click and Collect will just cannibalise your online sales and replace them with in‐ store sales. I’m delighted to report for any eCommerce managers out there, that we have not found this to be the case. In fact since we launched the service, we have seen increased volumes in online home deliveries coupled with a significant uptake in click and collect purchases with no detrimental effect on daily in store sales. To put it simply launching Click and Collect can increase your bottom line by delivering you a new customer base who may have previously been choosing your competitors for the simplicity and comfort or purchasing online to collect in person. Kieran O’Brien, Marketing Manager, UK & Ireland, Compu b

For all queries eCommerce related, please contact Retail Excellence eCommerce Manager, David Campbell – [email protected]





Playing our part in sustaining and growing the economy challenging vista to Irish retailers with the potent threat of Brexit, sterling devaluation and political instability in the UK all making it difficult for retailers to strategise to stave off the worst excesses of a post-Brexit hangover which is regrettably already having an impact. Retail trading figures are on a downward trajectory and the consequential consumer trend of online shopping has led to €600,000 being spent in businesses outside of Ireland every hour. This leak of spend to the UK predominately is hurting Ireland, is unsustainable and will cause retail failure if Brexit-proofed measures are not implemented in Budget 2018.

While the resilience and sustainability of Irish retail attracts far less fanfare than the other two pillars of our economy (FDI and export focused businesses) it would be remiss of the Department of Finance to ignore the far reaching tentacles of the industry and its sectors which contributes to microeconomies in every village, town and city in this country. To quantify, Irish retailers operate 45,000 businesses with 282,000 employees directly employed in the industry (the largest private industry employer in Ireland) and an associated employment multiplier effect which increases that figure exponentially. As a direct consequence of retail activity, €5.7 billion is contributed to the Exchequer (made up of €4 billion in VAT and €1.7 billion in PAYE ) on an annual basis. Therefore, the significance of retail ought not to be underestimated. We present our Budget 2018 priorities in that vein.

However, like all well-oiled contrarians, we can point out all the problems facing our industry but it is solution focused Budget proposals which are critical in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the industry. We at Retail Excellence are focused on assisting retailers grow, thereby increasing sales, employment opportunities and ultimately return to the Exchequer. Our Budget submission will be presented to the Minister for Finance and all other Oireachtas Members on July 5th and it is a clear set of proposals which we strongly feel are critical to ensure further economic and employment trajectory for the betterment of all of Ireland, both urban and rural. OUR PRIORITIES: 1.

Reduce consumption taxes

2. Reduce the cost of employment 3. Increase competitiveness 4. Insurance

Established in 1995, Retail Excellence is owned by the members, for the members and is by far the largest retail industry representative body in Ireland. All of our information contained within our Budget 2018 submission is collated and our proposals shaped following extensive discussions and interaction with our members who number over 1,750 leading retail companies operating in excess of 10,000 individual stores.

5. Retail finance

There is no doubt, our large numbers of entrepreneurs and employees are a positive catalyst in job creation and economic growth in this country. That said, 2017 presents a

11. Retention of the Home Renovation Scheme


6. Further support for retailers online 7.

Measures to assist Town Renewal

8. Increased resources for authorities to combat crime 9. Infrastructural investment 10. Rates

12. UORR




A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE BUSINESS YOU WORK WITH? Bytek MPS are a supplier of managed print services WHICH RETAILER DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I would to all industries. Together with Epson we have to say DID. They have succeeded to grow and prosper in have specialized in the supply of services a climate of international competition. They are still an Irish to the retail sector. The new Epson owned business and in 2018 they will be 50 years in RIPS technology gives Bytek business. With humility, I see a lot of comparisons I am always MPS a clear technological advantage and with our between my business and DID, I compete every day unique 364 days per year swap out service we are looking at how with much larger international brands and I am setting new standards for print in retail. I can improve always looking at how I can improve what I do what I do without WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? without compromising my core values. DID are still When you are the boss you have lots of different compromising growing and like all successful Irish retailers they responsibilities that are needed to keep the truck on are willing to reflect on what they do and change in my core values the road. Staff, banks, suppliers and customers are the interests of improving themselves, the recent some of the day to day duties that I perform. But, when rebranding is an example. I get to meet new customers or when I get to meet with WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? That’s easy, live to 85 and existing customers it brings me back to the early days of Bytek be shot by an angry wife. MPS. I am a born sales man with ink in my blood and selling is IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? my first love in business. When I am faced with lots of problems and too little time to solve WHAT WAS THE LAST INTERESTING BOOK YOU READ? I am them, I tell my staff that ‘my superman suit is in the cleaners’! a compulsive reader which means that I only get to read when The best advice I was given was from a colleague when I on holidays because I cannot put a book down. I follow authors worked in the uk, he said that anyone can eat an elephant, just and read everything that they produce. Lee Child, Dean Koontz take small bites! But if given a super power it would be the Flash, and John Grisham. I never seem to have enough time to get from one meeting to HOW CAN YOUR BUSINESS HELP RETAILERS? We have another, as the Flash it might be easier… identified that print in all retail environments is problematic. The

Name: GERARD FORDE Company: BIZIMPLY Position: CEO

must read for every retailer. Especially his book “Why we buy”, in which he shares very funny anecdotes from a lifetime of studying shopping spaces and how people use them.

HOW CAN YOUR BUSINESS HELP RETAILERS? At the core of Bizimply is a suite of Mobile Apps that connect to an online BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR portal: The Bizimply Timestation replaces old fashion punch BUSINESS? Bizimply is an iPad based card systems, biometric machines and pen and paper. people management solution designed Timestation uses photo capture to eliminate buddy punching. specifically for retailers. We allow With Bizimply you can also use punch times to prepare businesses to manage their payroll in a matter of minutes. The application can be employee schedules, time and downloaded to any iPad from the Apple Store. attendance, in-store We now MyZimply allows employees to get their schedule communication and shift reporting across all their have customers pushed directly to their phone. With information stores, in one easy to use cloud based platform. in 11 countries and about shifts including start and end time, shift notes, Myself, Norman Hewson and Mikey Cannon have over 20,000 location, and position, employees have all the founded the company in 2014. Before Bizimply we information they need before they start their shift. employees on the had a small chain of healthy café’s in Dublin called Bizimply for Managers allows managers and owners platform Nude. I guess we built Bizimply because we believe to keep track of their business anytime and anywhere. that retail managers should always be out on the shop Check who is in and who is late, message employees floor driving sales, but unfortunately, they are all too often direct and get quick insights into daily sales, shift issues are stuck in the back office under a mountain of paperwork. We now and more. have customers in 11 countries and has over 20,000 employees WHICH RETAILER DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? I am a on the platform. big fan of the Italian food marketplace Eataly, they seem to be WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? I love working popping up all over the US these days. I think someone should with our customers and showing them how technology can open an Irish version, showcasing the best of Irish produce. change forever how they run their businesses. Especially how Maybe that might be my next business. they can see what’s happening live on their smart phone anytime WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? Scuba diving on Easter Island and anywhere. WHAT WAS THE LAST INTERESTING BOOK YOU READ? I read a lot of non-fiction business books and really enjoy Paco Underhill’s work. Paco is a US psychologist and his books are a



IT manager hates the printers as he has no input in the way that the printer operates, as a result there is little or no thought put into the printers in a shop. We have a simple philology when it comes to printing in a retail environments; (1) keep the costs down (2) use the most reliable machines and technology (3) 364 days per year swap out service. We want to remove printing as a problem in retail.


Name: LIAM CLARKE Company: Bytek MP Ltd Position: MD

IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Survive without sleeping, there never seems to be enough time in the day.




WHICH RETAILER DO YOU ADMIRE MOST AND WHY? So many ... BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR - Jo Malone. I love the brand and her products, it just gives BUSINESS? Through our design and you a lovely happy feeling which you need every day. thinking we transform our clients' vision - Avoca handweavers. This company started next door to my into reality, creating environments that home town Arklow from a small village. Admire how they inspire and resonate with consumers. built the company up creating lovely products and a We interact with our clients on a unique shopping and dining experience. personal level bringing the - Staffords Bakery, Gorey, Wexford. They produce I love principles of design, marketing and visual delicious products and it's a family run and merchandising to their project. Our experience working with clients employing over 300 people. enables clients to translate their brand and vision from all sectors of the into a a solution tailored to fit their requirements etail world whick keeps WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? Once a year and desired store experience. We believe in my job travel with my family to a new destination. focusing on our clients' strengths which has interesting enabled us to retain existing customers and attract IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPERPOWER, WHAT new audiences. Our contribution has permitted our WOULD IT BE? To be a mind reader so I could clients to create a strong image and presentation helps to understand what is not said. Particularly powerful when it exude a clear message which increases sales. comes to clients brief. I would be able to know what my WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? Is having the freedom to work independently with any supplier and turning customers' dream into a reality. I love working with clients from all sectors of the retail world which keeps my job interesting and challenging.




clients have in mind that they don't say or can't explain in words.




Damian Gleeson, Head of Retail Grant Thornton

• • • •• • • • •• •• • • • • • • • FOCUS ON INNOVATION NOT JUST COST CUTTING It’s a fact of retail – your brand is either on the up or in decline. Much like a rollercoaster, this cycle rolls around regularly, and consumers will tell you with their wallets if you’ve got your product offering right or wrong. While there’s been underwhelming growth in retail sales in recent years, there are a greater number of competitors jostling for a slice of the pie –international brands, overseas online consumers and auction sites like eBay. In 2017, the global retail influx will continue, with many analysts advising that the wave of international market entrants is yet to peak (confirmed retailers hunting for spaces include Victoria’s Secret, Aldi, Lidl, Iceland, H&M and Zara). So if you’re a retailer just about to tip over the summit on Space Mountain or worse, already in free fall, we offer some insight here to help you make the right decisions. 1.

Acknowledge that your business is under‐performing and the reasons why (the ‘critical point’). It can be difficult to see the wood for the trees when it’s your business, so dedicate some time to do a business review or bring in independent experts to help you while you focus on ‘business as usual’. The review should cover finance, strategy, management, operations and stakeholders (including customers and financiers). Be sure to identify where your business sits on the business life cycle, as this determines the options available to you. As you would expect, the further down the decline curve you are, the fewer options available. Early intervention is therefore critical.


Document your findings and turnaround plan. Too often information remains in the head of the business owner and is rarely documented. Once down on paper it provides a platform for discussion and communication to the business’s wider stakeholders.


For a successful turnaround there usually needs to be a financial restructuring that centres on reducing debt and restoring the balance sheet to good health; also operational restructuring that focuses on gross margin and improving earnings. The immediate focus needs to be on developing operational measures to ensure immediate viability; i.e. making sure the company is a solvent, going concern. The second stage is to develop a model for the restructured company that ensures its ongoing viability.


Implementing the turnaround. For your plan to be successful you need to ensure: •

a clear strategy is first defined, and then the detail worked on.

actions are defined by whom; when; level of importance; priority and how you’ll measure success. Sounds simple, but motherhood statements without direct accountability for action frequently fail.

stress‐test your plan and make sure it’s realistic. Model some sensitivities to provide headroom should things not go exactly according to plan. This is critical, as failure to achieve documented milestones – particularly with a debt or equity provider – can see a loss of credibility. Contingency planning and flexibility is important.

provide regular updates to your stakeholders. Give them both the good and bad news but provide an action plan to mitigate the bad and forecast any future risks.

SOME KEY AREAS TO CONSIDER IN A TURNAROUND PLAN ARE RENT • rent is one of the largest expenses in a retail business. Understand how your lease works, how your rent is calculated and how it stacks up against other tenants’ rents. • don’t be afraid to negotiate for a fairer deal with your landlord, but if you do, have a clear plan. MANAGE WORKING CAPITAL – INVENTORY AND DISCOUNTING SUPPLY CHAIN • fastidious management of inventory is crucial to unlocking cash and maximising working capital. Reporting needs to be at the level of understanding stock‐keeping unit (SKU) level margins and stock turn. • discounting is the norm today – figure out how you can extract full price for your product. • invest in the cost‐efficient cloud technologies now widely available to bolt on to incumbent systems and help manage inventory, supply chain and working capital. CLOSE UNDER-PERFORMING STORES/REDUCE OVERHEADS • one of the biggest reasons for retail failure is not stemming losses from under‐ performing stores quickly enough. Also, as consumers increasingly spend online, there will need to be some store closures to realign the business model. • over the last few years, there have been a number of specialist entrants into the market who provide support in closing stores. This allows management to focus on profitable stores and potentially provide a guaranteed upfront cash return. • we’ve seen numerous examples where overheads (including head office) increase over time, as ‘this is just the way things have always been done’. There are many opportunities, in areas like payroll and human resources, to outsource costs to help better manage expenses.

DEBT/EQUITY • it may be possible to source debt or equity into the business providing a clear turnaround plan can be presented. Or it may be that the current financing facilities aren’t appropriate for the business and can be restructured to support the turnaround. PEOPLE, LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNICATION • assess who has the capability to deliver the turnaround. Skills required to deliver leadership in a distressed scenario are different to business as usual. • cutting employees may be necessary, but needs to be properly managed to not impact client service and, ultimately, sales. • engagement of your team in the future strategy and their roles needs to be communicated sensitively for it to be successful. With any restructure people become nervous – make sure your best people are locked in. REPORTING; DATA AND TECHNOLOGY • financial data, not just daily sales reports, need to be in real time. Relatively inexpensive tools are now available to augment your financial and point‐of‐sale systems and provide dashboard reporting. PRODUCT/BRAND/CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT • it may be time to re‐brand, sell or give up on a brand/product that isn’t working. This can be hard to accept when it’s your ‘baby’. • have you really engaged with the new millennial consumer? From teens to pensioners we’re all changing the way we engage with retail – predominantly through Ireland being one of the highest adopters of smart phones.

Businesses, whether on the up or decline, should consider applying an innovative approach rather than thinking about matters solely in terms of cost cutting. Early planning and stakeholder engagement can provide the best opportunity to ensure business survival in the long run. To remain riding the rollercoaster you need to understand the real issues at work in the business, seek advice early and communicate with all the stakeholders. Q3 2017 | RETAIL TIMES






As Summer time comes around again, many employees will be looking forward to their main annual holiday whether it’s for one week or two, in Ireland or abroad. In theory it’s a simple process. An employees applies for the their preferred time off and the employer arranges their roster accordingly. In practice, as with most things, there are further points to note and considerations to bear in mind.

POINTS TO NOTE The Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997 sets out an employee’s annual leave entitlement as; a) Four working weeks in a leave year in which the employee works at least 1,365 hours (unless it is a leave year in which he or she changes employment). b) 1/3 of a working week per calendar month that the employee works at least 117 hours. c) 8% of the hours an employee works in a leave year (but subject to a maximum of four working weeks). For full time employees, who work five days per week, the legal leave allocation is therefore 20 days. We would always recommend against mentioning 20 days in written terms and conditions of employment, as, for employees who work less that 5 days per week, 20 days holidays will equate to a far more favourable amount of time off! Of course, there is nothing stopping employers voluntarily giving employees additional holiday time if they so wish as a perk of employment. Some employers award extra annual leave as a reward for service milestones within an organisation. Employers must be seen to encourage employees to take their holidays. Holidays provide an opportunity for employees to relax, recharge the batteries and come back to work with a renewed energy to make their employer money! If an employee does not use their allocation of leave days in a year, they employer may allow them to ‘carry over’ excess days into the following year for up to six months. Under no circumstances can an employee ever be paid for untaken holidays. This may encourage an employee not to take time off and is against the law. This is also true for part time and student workers. These employees build up holiday time just like full time employees, and should also apply for and receive this time off in the same way as their full time colleagues. Part time employees should not have holidays paid out to them, just because they are part time. Remember holiday pay is only given when a) an employee goes on holidays or b) an employee leaves employment.

USEFUL TIPS FOR YOUR LEAVE POLICY Your Contract of Employment or Employee Handbook should have a clause which sets out some basics principles for how you allocate leave. Requests – Be clear on how employees are to request leave. Do they apply verbally or in writing? Do they get verbal or written approval? We would always recommend written approval, or denial, as this allows no room for miscommunication! Blackout Periods – The basic principle is that employers give holidays rather than employees taking them. Obviously an employer has to be reasonable in how they manage this right but many employers allocate holidays at Christmas, to facilitate a shutdown in manufacturing plants or the old ‘Builders Fortnight’ at

the end of July. In Retail, employers will also nominate times of the year where no holiday requests will be granted, e.g. Christmas. It is important that a policy such as this is for genuine commercial reasons, is communicated clearly to employees and is enforced fairly for all employees. Notice – We recommend that you communicate to employees the notice needed to maximise their potential of getting their leave requests granted. It is likely that you will only be able to allow a few holiday requests at the one time so encouraging early requests, for example four weeks, will encourage an employee to be proactive in making bookings to avoid disappointment if you have to deny them for operational reasons. Sick Leave – Payment for Annual Leave cannot be given if an employee is certified as ill and unfit to work. At times, if an employee rings in sick for a day they may request that the employer pays them for a day of leave instead. Employers must decline this request. Maximum Time Off – Employers are obliged to allow employees take two weeks off work if they request it. In recent times, with long haul holidays becoming more affordable and accessible requests for three or four week holidays are a regular occurrence. Employers should consider the commercial needs of their business and consider whether leave applications of this length are workable. Remember an employee earns holiday time as they work throughout the year. If you allow and pay a three week holiday in, say January, that employee will need to work with you until September to earn back the holiday time given. Avoid a build-up – We recommend all employers, but especially Retailers, marking a note in a diary to review all leave totals around September of each year. It is common for Retailers not to allow leave during the Christmas season so employers should avoid a scenario where many employees retain a disproportionately high level of leave into the winter season. We recommend a memo to each employee, possibly with a pay slip in early autumn advising them of what leave they have left and encouraging them to book them up. Unpaid Leave – Employers may receive requests for additional unpaid leave from work for anything from an extra day on holiday, to a three day week over the summer to tie in with the kids’ school holidays, to a year’s leave of absence to travel the world. Employer’s must be aware of the precedent they may be setting in granting such requests and display due caution. We would always recommend you ask the employee to set out the details and reason for their request in writing and then encourage the employer to review the roster and commercial plans of the business against this request. Difficulties can arise if employers seem more disposed to granting these requests for favoured employees but not for others. Claims of discrimination and inequality may follow! As with all aspects of Employment Law, we would always encourage an employer to seek advice if they are faced with a request or query from an employee that they have not faced before.

We are happy to discuss any of the above information further via our complimentary phone support service to Retail Excellence Members on 0214634154



Creating Perfect Packaging Established in 1914, we are Ireland’s oldest packaging distributor, and have been providing businesses with packaging perfection for over 103 years. Today, JJ O’Toole Ltd. offer a turn‐key packaging solution to a wide range of businesses in the food service, industrial and retail sector in addition to a growing E‐commerce industry throughout Ireland and the UK. To us, details are everything. Innovation, creativity and commitment are an everyday occurrence for our dedicated team and every aspect of the client’s needs are considered and surpassed. We are in a time when a business’ brand presence is more important than ever and we lead the way in supplying exquisite packaging. Our Managing Director, Vicki O’Toole’s hard work and entrepreneurship speaks for itself and was recognised when she won the overall Image Magazine’s Business Woman of the Year in 2011. In the same year JJ O’Toole Ltd. won the Chamber of Commerce Best SME Award which was a fantastic achievement for the whole team. We were extremely proud and honoured when Vicki won the Munster Best Led Woman category in the 2015 Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award. JJ O’Toole’s winning ways continued when we received the SFA Best Services award in 2016. We are very proud to be the preferred packaging partner to hundreds of clientele, small medium and large. As a 3rd generation family business, we are delighted to be the packaging supplier to some of these clients for many years. Indeed we are supplying one family business for four generations. Our customer base includes blue chip companies such as Selfridges & Co, Newbridge Silverware, Dunnes Stores, Fenwick, Lloyds Pharmacy, Kilkenny Group, Meadows & Byrne, Carroll’s Irish Gifts, Michael Guiney, Shaw’s and Brown Thomas. These partnerships have taught us over the years a thing or two about branding and achieving the best return on your packaging budget.

A Guide to Perfect Packaging: Be Unique ‐ It can be tempting to base your packaging around that of other companies. While it is fine to take inspiration from others, it takes additional creative flair to establish your own identity and uniqueness. Stunning packaging can capture an audience and trigger emotional engagement with your brand. Consider Your Product and Your Planet ‐ It is essential to think of the practicality of your packaging. When it comes to paper bags for example, there is a myriad of different strengths, sizes and finishes available to create your perfect carrier. But don’t forget to consider our planet when choosing your packaging and consider the many eco‐ friendly solutions available such as juco, jute and bamboo materials. Consider Your Customer ‐ There is a huge difference between a designer item from the world’s leading department store and a humble pencil from a local stationary shop. Your packaging should reflect this and can be determined largely by the selling prices and nature of your products. We guide our customers through the decision making process, offering beautiful and economical solutions, irrespective of the product to be packaged. Stand Out From the Crowd ‐ A business with a strong brand will mirror it consistently in their packaging to gain maximum brand recognition. The high streets are flooded with customers buzzing from store to store. When they make a purchase, they often carry their goods for several hours. You need to consider ‐ are people taking notice of your bags on the high street and do they stand out from the crowd? Q3 2017 | RETAIL TIMES

The On Line Experience ‐ Sending an online package to the other side of the world should arrive with your logo highlighted on the packaging, not that of a global courier company, so that the recipients experience is with your brand, not another. Online shoppers share their experiences through social media and if your goods are delivered in beautiful packaging, your brand awareness is growing, which in turn will generate more business. Keep It Simple ­ Here at JJ O’Toole Ltd we are experts in packaging design, creativity and innovation. Surely this means we create lots of elaborate packaging designs for our clients, using rare and expensive materials? Wrong. We appreciate simplicity when it comes to branded packaging. The least fussy designs, when executed well, are often the most eye‐catching and look the most luxurious. We only have to look at the Chanel packaging to understand how a simple, tasteful design can stand out from the crowd.

Keepability over Disposability – Packaging is not just as a vessel to carry a product home from the store to then be discarded and recycled. It should be so beautiful and practical the customer doesn’t want to part with it. It could be a luxury box that is used again to store jewellery and trinkets, a bag for life that is used for gardening, or a velvet ribbon that is saved for wrapping gifts ‐ always consider the shelf life of your packaging and its keepability merits.