A total of 29 retailers from across Ireland have been awarded €659,550 in funding as part of the pilot €1.25m Online Retail Scheme.

The fund, which is administered by Enterprise Ireland, is aimed at enabling retailers to strengthen their online offering to enable them to reach a wider customer base.

“This scheme will provide Irish retailers with the additional resources to respond and adapt their business model to the upcoming challenges including potentially weaker consumer confidence and increasing business costs post Brexit,” explained Stephen Hughes, head of Consumer, Enterprise Ireland.

“Supporting the retail sector is critical to sustaining a robust regional economy”

The Online Retail Scheme was introduced by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation as part of the ongoing work of the Retail Consultation Forum, which Minister Humphreys chairs.

“Online retail remains a challenging space for most Irish retailers,” explained Thomas Burke, director of Retail Ireland. “While great strides have been made towards improving the offer to Irish consumers in recent years, initiatives such as the pilot Online Retail Scheme are a crucial support for our sector and will act as a catalyst to encouraging ever greater numbers of Irish retailers to take on the challenge of selling online.

“We know more and more Irish consumers are shopping online and we must do all we can to support the Irish retail sector react to that shift in buying patterns and seize the opportunities that exist.”

The detail in retail

The Scheme recipients were announced today (26 September 2019) by the Minister today at the Retail Consultation Forum meeting in Dublin. The Scheme’s purpose is to support Irish retailers to strategically enhance their online sales capabilities to increase competitiveness and subsequently scale their businesses in international markets.

Under this second competitive call, the successful applicants will receive funding ranging from €10,000 to €25,000 to strengthen their online offering.

“As part of the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland framework, the pilot Online Retail Scheme is an important initiative to ensure that our retail businesses can remain competitive in a changing world where traditional business operations are increasingly being disrupted by new technology,” said Heather Humphreys, TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

“Supporting the retail sector is critical to sustaining a robust regional economy, which my Department is committed to, particularly in the context of Brexit and the challenges that lie ahead. Increasing the international sales of Irish retailers through the online channel translates into sustaining and creating high-quality, sustainable jobs across the country.

“Today I am announcing funding of €659,550 under the pilot Online Retail Scheme to a further 29 retailers around the country, bringing the total to 40 retail businesses who are benefiting from the Scheme. I would like to congratulate all the successful applicants and wish them well in their efforts to expand their reach to a wider customer base both at home and abroad,” Humphreys said.

The 29 retailers awarded funding operate across a broad spectrum of sectors including healthcare, jewellery, fashion, sports, audio visual technology and marine equipment.

“To have so many progressive Irish retailers succeed with their application on phase two is a very welcome development,” said David Fitzimons, group CEO at Retail Excellence. “They are poised to take on the world.”

The 29 companies are:

  • Louis Copeland & Sons, Dublin
  • Vaughan Footwear Limited, Mayo
  • QCSG Limited t/a Byrnes Books & Toys, Wexford
  • Appleby Jewellers Limited, Dublin
  • Meaghers Pharmacy Online Sales Limited, Dublin
  • Lifestyle Sports (Ireland) Limited, Dublin
  • Cordar Pharmacy Limited, Mayo
  • Desino Limited t/a Jennys Boutique, Meath
  • Jack Layden Enterprises (Basecamp), Dublin
  • RQ Audio Visual Limited, Dublin
  • Designer Exchange Limited, Dublin
  • Aran Sweater Market Limited, Kerry
  • LGM Developments Limited, Sligo
  • Anthony Ryan Limited, Galway
  • R.A. Tierney & Co Limited, Dublin
  • Kerrigan’s Factory Shop Limited, Dublin
  • Stauntons Pharmacy Limited, Mayo
  • Spinnaker Marine Limited t/a Viking Marine, Dublin
  • Organico Shop, Café & Bakery Limited, Cork
  • Wembar Company, Dublin
  • CH Tralee, Kerry
  • Flairline Fashions Limited, Dublin
  • Seaclaidi Na Sceilige Teoranta, Kerry
  • Ted Johnson Limited, Kildare
  • Greenes Letterkenny Limited, Donegal
  • Caseys Furniture, Cork
  • Yarn Vibes, a subsidiary of Vibes and Scribes, Cork
  • Glenmac LK Limited, Donegal
  • Mulligans Chemist Limited, Waterford

Retail image: William Potter/Shutterstock 

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Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 26 September, 2019

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