Irish retail players can now open up to an international market


Changing consumer habits and current global events are just some of the factors that have helped change the face of retail forever.

In recent years, aspiring retailers of all sizes across the country have discovered the vast opportunities that exist in e-commerce, with the chance to compete for international sales.

Businesses that already had an online presence are taking the opportunity to expand their digital offerings and capabilities to expand, increase sales domestically and internationally, and enter new markets.

Smaller and independent stationary shops are now also taking the opportunity to compete with global giants in terms of sales.

Retail in Ireland is a crucial part of our economy.

In fact, the sector is our largest domestic industry, employing over 300,000 people and accounting for 23 percent of government tax revenue, which equates to up to €7 billion in government taxes.

This vitally important sector plays a crucial role in stimulating the local economy, sustaining employment and supporting vibrant and dynamic communities across Ireland.

For ambitious retailers, selling online represents a significant opportunity to tap into an international customer base.

Enterprise Ireland is committed to increasing the ability of Irish companies to increase their export sales, so we are committed to helping retailers develop their online skills and take advantage of the global marketplace. An online presence can not only open new market channels and increase sales, but also increase brand awareness and loyalty among customers.

Administered by Enterprise Ireland, the Online Retail Scheme provides direct financial support to retail businesses to develop a more competitive online business offering to complement their in-store offering and increase sales internationally.

One Irish company that has successfully utilized the scheme and is now enjoying growing business is Navan Hire and Hardware, as Keith Donegan explains: “The online retail scheme has supported Navan Hire and Hardware on a project and a number of Working supports our digital offering, which ultimately allowed us to expand and grow our business by reaching new customers and entering new markets.

“These upgrades to our digital offering, made possible by the Online Retail Scheme, have helped us to significantly increase sales, improve our customer service and develop new work processes. This work has helped us future-proof our business.”

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English TD opened a new round of the program this week and €9.3 million is available in this round of funding.

This call is open to both new applicants and those who have already taken advantage of the program. Businesses used to be only allowed to get two approvals in three years, but this time such restrictions have been lifted to help repeat applicants continue their successful ecommerce journey.

Additionally, this time the focus is on building digital skills with a higher weighting in the assessment for an internal champion – to encourage internal skill building so the company can update and improve its website internally without having to pay extra for expertise , if the site requires changes.

The online retail program is open to all Irish owned retail businesses with both a physical and online presence.

Applicants should also have 10 or more full-time employees and the potential to retain or create employment, generate growth in online transactions and expand their business internationally.

This round of the program is designed to help retailers improve their digital capabilities with the goal of growing their customer base and building a more resilient business in the domestic and global marketplace, both online and offline.

Applying is easy and available online at

Now is the time to expand your retail business to an international audience and take advantage of the limitless opportunities that selling online can offer.

Anna-Marie Turley is Division Manager for Retail, Consumer and Online at Enterprise Ireland Irish retail players can now open up to an international market

Fry Electronics Team

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