A group of the county’s leading lobby groups have joined forces to fight upward only rent reviews. The group represents retailers, SMEs, exporters and industry and is made up of a number of organisations including Retail Excellence Ireland, Retail Ireland, RGDATA, Small Firms' Association, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Irish Exporters Association, Irish Hotels Federation, and Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association. The group is claiming that the government is hiding behind legal advice and that the upward only rents contracts cannot be changed. The group has new legal evidence which counteracts the claims. A spokesperson for the group said, “Senator Quinn's legislation should be enacted by the Dail and by all means let it be referred by the President to the Supreme Court to test its constitutionality. This at least would end once and for all this blanket ban on changing what is an unjust law.” The group said that businesses are struggling because high rents are putting shops under pressure. “There's been a recent boost in consumer spend, with positive news on retail sales and employment, but we need the right conditions to achieve a sustainable recovery. High rents, which can only go up, cost jobs and impedes growth."
Glanbia has described its outlook for the year as positive, following the publication of an IMS this morning which indicated that the food group's revenue in the three months to April grew by 17% compared to the same period last year. Glanbia holds its AGM today at Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny. Despite the positive sales performance, the group said that its consumer products business in Ireland continues to face "significant headwinds" due to heavy price promotions and discounting in the categories it operates.
Topaz’s loyalty game Play or Park has won 16 awards at the An Post Smart Marketing Awards. Play or Park was nominated in 15 categories and went on to win 14 awards including 6 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze at the ceremony, which was held at the Mansion House in Dublin. Topaz’s gold awards included Smartest Loyalty Strategy, Smartest Relationship Management, and Smartest New Product Development. In addition, Topaz won two overall awards; the ‘Smartest Marketing Team of the Year’ as well as the ‘Black Fox’ Grand Prix prize, which has not been awarded since 2009. Paul Candon, marketing and corporate services director at Topaz, commented, “Topaz was the first brand in Europe to use an ongoing gaming mechanic as the central pillar of its loyalty programme and it’s fantastic to have our innovative approach recognised by these multiple awards. Play or Park has only been up and running for over a year and already we have signed up over 250,000 registered players."
Consumer confidence has reached a seven year high according to the Consumer Market Monitor. The report, by UCD's Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and the Marketing Institute of Ireland, found that consumer confidence had hit a low of more than minus 30 in mid 2008, but this year was found to be up 10 points from a baseline of zero. Tom Trainor, chief executive of the Marketing Institute, said that people are starting to spend again. "Disposable income is still a major concern, however, and this of course reflects on when and what they can spend on and this has a knock-on effect on job creation and job preservation.” He added, "Combined with other data, such as recent manufacturing and services PMIs, which have all shown positive growth, we hope that this positive growth and momentum will be sustained over the remainder of this year at least." Researchers say that increased spending has come as a result of positive news on employment and a recovering property market is nurturing consumer confidence.
Tesco Ireland has announced a €2 million plan to install energy efficient lighting at a number of its stores. The project is the first to take advantage of the €70m Irish Energy Efficiency Fund, established by the Government to assist companies to tackle energy efficient projects. Irish company DCS Electrical will fit seven Tesco stores with LED lighting, and have a follow-on commitment to extend the project to 40 more stores in the future. Its is estimated that the project will create €500,000 in energy savings each year for the Tesco. The work will create 16 new jobs at DCS Electrical too. Funding for the project has come from investment firm London & Regional Properties (€12.8 million) and Glen Dimplex Group (€5 million).
A Bank of Ireland/Ipsos MRBI survey shows that over 80% of SME owners think that their businesses have stabilised or are in new growth mode. Additionally, 43% of SMEs have recruited new staff in the past year and 32% plan to hire more staff in the coming year. Over six in ten (61%) SMEs are projecting growth in the third and fourth quarters of this year, while two-thirds are feeling optimistic about the year ahead. The survey also found that 73% of SME owners think the economy is growing, with 22% saying that increased customer demand is the biggest opportunity for growth. For 17% of those surveyed, targeting growth in new markets is their top priority. The survey was launched as part of National Enterprise Week, the theme this year being ‘Enabling Enterprise.'
Bord Bia has launched this years food and gardening festival, Bloom, which will run in Dublin’s Phoenix Park from Thursday, May 29 until Monday, June 2, 2014. Now in its 8th year, Bloom continues to attract a nationwide audience; last year’s festival saw over 110,000 visitors attend the event. The Food Village at Bloom returns and a wide range of dining options will be available from Bistro, Bloom’s restaurant, café and seafood bar, to the all-new Donnelly Fresh Food Parlour. The Quality Kitchen stage will feature some of Ireland’s most loved chefs, including Neven Maguire, Kevin Dundon, Donal Skehan and Catherine Fulvio doing daily demonstrations showcasing a range of new recipes made from Bord Bia Quality Assured products and the best of local ingredients. Gary Graham, Bloom Show Manager said, “Bloom 2014 is our eighth outing in the beautiful Phoenix Park, Dublin and Bord Bia is delighted to showcase our top chefs, gardening experts and entertainers who will be inspiring and educating crowds at the live stages. Our nurseries, craft workers and artisan food and drink companies will be sharing their passion and tempting you to experience the best that Ireland has to offer.” Tickets are on sale now on www.bloominthepark.com.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) have launched a series of tests to check the DNA of beef products in Ireland. The tests are part of an European effort to prevent horse meat adulteration. Over 50 samples of burgers, ready meals and other beef products will be checked for horse meat content with results due in July. The UK Food Standards Agency will also be testing its lamb products after it was discovered that many takeaways were substituting cheaper meats such as beef, chicken or turkey in lamb dishes. The FSAI has said it does not have any plans to test lamb dishes in Ireland, however the authority does not usually give notice of its tests as it would alert “food fraudsters.”
Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) recently partnered with IBEC and the EPA’s GreenBusiness.ie to run a series of free seminars to help businesses to manage energy and explore smart and inexpensive methods of reducing energy costs. The Seafood Development Agency is hosting the seminars in Athlone Springs Hotel, Athlone today, May 13 and the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 on May 14. Donal Buckley, BIM’s Business Development & Innovation Manager, explained how the programme offers a distinct advantage to seafood companies, "In addition to saving operational costs, this programme will assist seafood companies to manage their business in a sustainable manner which links in with Bord Bia’s Origin Green Programme. This level of commitment to sustainability in all aspects of their business is a key selling point on the market and we are looking forward to working closely with seafood companies around the coast on this exciting new initiative." The seminars are free but places are limited so book your place by e-mailing [email protected] or telephone 01 605 1693 or book through the events page on the Ibec main website www.ibec.ie
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson