Retail in the Republic of Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, the retail sector provides one of the largest sources of employment in the economy, representing over 12% of the workforce.[1] As of 2017, approximately 40,000 wholesale and retail businesses employed almost 280,000 people in Ireland,[2][1] with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment reporting that 90% of these businesses were Irish-owned.[1]

As of 2017, the retail market was worth €40 billion annually,[3] with the supermarket sector reportedly comprising €9 billion of this figure.[2] For the same period, €5 billion was spent by Irish consumers with online retailers - €3 billion of this going to non-Irish sites.[3]

SupermarketsEdit

The Republic of Ireland has a number of supermarket chains: Tesco Ireland, a subsidiary of Tesco plc with 91 stores (4 superettes, 5 small super, 44 large super, 38 hyper), Dunnes Stores, owned by a trust consisting of members of the family of its founder, Ben Dunne Snr, with 123 stores. And SuperValu, with 223 stores and (as of May 2018) the largest share of Ireland's grocery market.[4] As of 2017, a representative of Tesco stated that the retailer had "invested significantly" in their online shopping platform, and SuperValu had reported an increase in online shopping (between 2015 and 2016) of 22%.[2]

Marks and Spencer also operates a small number of supermarket sites, including in Cork and Dublin.[5]

SPAR and Londis have also branched out into supermarket format franchise stores, with their Eurospar and Londis Plus formats.[citation needed]

Aldi and Lidl also operate in the Irish market, and as of May 2018 had approximately 11% share of the grocery market each.[4]

While there is much competition in the supermarket sector, it was formerly tempered by the Restrictive Practices (Groceries) Order 1987 (known as the "Groceries Order"). This order made it illegal to sell any good below the invoice price. The order was instituted to prevent a price war along the lines which led to the collapse of the supermarket chain H Williams in 1987, and had the effect of banning cross-subsidy and loss leaders. In 2005, Micheal Martin, the then Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment announced that the Order would be revoked in early 2006. This was done via the enactment of the Competition (Amendment) Act 2006 in March 2006.[6]

Convenience stores and newsagentsEdit

Convenience store formats were developed from the 1960s, when the Musgrave Group introduced the "VG" convenience store format in 1960. This became Centra (and SuperValu) in 1979. Other convenience store formats include Gala, owned by 9 independent wholesale companies, Costcutter owned by Barry Group, SPAR, Mace, and Londis, all three owned by BWG in the Republic of Ireland. Smaller convenience store formats include XL Stop and Shop, Your Stop, Daybreak, Quik Pick and Vivo. Stonehouse Marketing, a large buying group of wholesalers, offers their retailers the Homestead brand, which is the main "own brand" label offered in symbol groups such as Gala, Costcutter, Quik Pick and Your Stop.[citation needed]

Tesco also operates a small number of Tesco Ireland Local and Tesco Express stores,[citation needed] and Marks and Spencer operates several smaller convenience stores under the Simply Food banner.[citation needed]

The Eason chain of main street newsagents, stationers and booksellers is the largest in the country.[7]

The main petrol station brands in Ireland also operate convenience stores - including the Circle K and Applegreen (Petrogas) brands.[8][9]

Main street retailingEdit

While main street retailing is declining,[10] a number of British and European 'high street' brands continue to operate in the market. These include Next, Topshop, Boots, Argos, Dorothy Perkins, Currys/PC World, and a number of stores in the Inditex and Bestseller brand families (such as Zara, Vero Moda and Jack & Jones). US retailer TK Maxx has more than 20 stores in Ireland.[11] Indigenous Irish retailers and brands include Penneys, Brown Thomas, Shaws, newsagents Eason & Son, record stores Golden Discs, pharmacy chains Hickey's, Sam McCauley's, and McCabes, and other smaller chains.[citation needed]

Shopping centresEdit

Out of town shopping centres, anchored by a major supermarket, have been developed in Ireland since the 1960s, with Dunnes Stores' Cornelscourt being one of the first.[12] A precursor of the 1990s town centres was developed in Stillorgan in the late 1960s, as well as the two major Dublin city centre shopping malls, the Ilac Shopping Centre and Irish Life Shopping Mall. These were joined in the 1990s by the Jervis Centre.

However, in the 1990s a new phenomenon of large shopping malls, not dominated by one tenant but with a number of anchor tenants, main street names, and usually a cinema, grew up in the Dublin suburbs. Of these types of shopping centre developments around Dublin, the five largest include The Square, Tallaght, Blanchardstown Centre, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Swords Pavilions and Dundrum Town Centre.[13]

In Munster and Connacht, shopping centres have also emerged on the outskirts of towns and cities like Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford. These include sites like Mahon Point in Cork and the Crescent Shopping Centre in Limerick.[14]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Business & Sectoral Initiatives - Retail Sector". Gov.ie. Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Basket case: How consumers' food shopping experience is changing". 5 June 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "60% of Irish online spending went to foreign retailers in 2017". Irish Times. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Dublin sales help SuperValu to top spot". Independent News & Media. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Mayor of Limerick says 'it's the city centre or nowhere' for Marks and Spencer". limerickleader.ie. Limerick Leader. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Competition (Amendment) Act 2006" (PDF). Oireachtas.ie. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 April 2010.
  7. ^ "Eason unveils new flagship store as premises doubles". Irish Examiner. 26 August 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2018. Ireland’s largest book and stationery retailer [is] Eason
  8. ^ "Circle K to pump €55m into Topaz rebrand and new forecourts". Irish Times. 13 April 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Petrogas to float Applegreen business". Irish Times. 18 April 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Net loss: How online shopping is hammering Main Street retailers". Independent News & Media. 29 April 2018. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  11. ^ "TK Maxx set to open in Castlebar". mayonews.ie. Mayo News. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Our Story - About Us - History". Dunnes Stores. Retrieved 12 June 2018. By 1965, Dunnes Stores had expanded [..] building the first out-of-town shopping centre in Cornelscourt
  13. ^ "Irish retail back to 'more normalised level' of investment". irishtimes.com. Irish Times. 6 December 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2018. Across the State’s big five shopping centres – Dundrum Town Centre, The Square Tallaght, Liffey Valley, The Pavilion in Swords, and Blanchardstown – there were about 30 big letting deals in 2017
  14. ^ "Retailers give 'unhealthy' review to country's shopping centres". irishtimes.com. Irish Times. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2018.