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Vol. 7, Issue 1 | March 2015
Update from Ireland
By Fergal Doyle
The mood in Ireland regarding customer spend remains positive, with Q4 2014 recording and annualised like-for-like growth in sales of 4.22%, which was the largest quarterly gain in the Irish Retail Industry since Q2 2007! Like-for-like sales for Qtr. 4 in garden centres vs. last year was up just over 10%. While the quarter proved productive, it is important to note that much of the sales were at the cost of margin, with November and specifically Black Friday witnessing aggressive discounting activity. It is hugely positive that Retail Excellence Ireland is supporting the creation of the sub sector REI Garden Group. The Garden Group committee have created a marketing campaign called GroMór which means Grow Big in the Irish language with a sub text "Get-out, get healthy, get growing." Our aim in year one is to create awareness amongst a cohort of 30 – 45 year old people that are not present in our stores. The campaign will include national advertising and a social media presence. With the support of REI, Bord Bia and other key industry suppliers, Ireland will be working hard in 2015 to get the Country Growing!
Arboretum; Chairperson, REI Garden Group
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