Excel Recruitment Retail News

Regatta Great Outdoors to create100 jobs with new stores nationwide

Clothing company Regatta Great Outdoors has announced plans to open several new stores nationwide, resulting in the creation of 100 jobs.

The planned stores will be located in Galway, Dublin and Waterford.The company, based in Cork with its headquarters in Manchester, have said the expansion was linked to multimillion euro turnovers in recent years.

Regatta Great Outdoors was established in the UK in 1981 by Lionel Black and is still owned and run by the Black family. Its Irish operations were established in 2000 when Brian Fox, now the brand’s Regatta Ireland Director, was appointed as a sales representative for the brand and sold to buyers from a garage in his own home.

The company opened its first Irish concession in Shaws of Wexford in 2004, soon expanding to 18 concession stores nationwide by 2009. The company’s first stand-alone shop in was opened in Limerick in 2011.

The brand, which is known for its technical outdoor wear and footwear currently has 11 stand-alone shops across the State and has seven more openings planned throughout this year.

Regatta Ireland director Brian Fox said: “The expansion of the Regatta brand in Ireland is to satisfy customer demand, which has grown due to the affordable product range we have available in our stores,” he said.

“We are delighted to see our business growing following some turbulent years in Ireland as we are creating new jobs in local areas. We look forward to continued growth and success in the coming years.”

The company sells a variety of technical clothing including jackets, fleeces, trousers and softshell jackets and suitable for harsh conditions, offerings the company says prove very popular within the Irish market.

hotel jobs

Dublin hotel room supply expected to jump 15% by 2019

Dublin is expected to gain around 3,500 new hotel bedrooms by the end of 2019, a 15% increase on existing supply.

According to research conducted by real-estate company Savills, almost 90% of these bedrooms will come from new hotels. The majority of developments planned for the next two years will be situated in Dublin 1 and 2, followed by Dublin 8 and Dublin Airport. The most significant increase of Dublin hotel rooms is expected to be seen in Dublin 2 in 2018, with an anticipated increase of 35% in stock on the Dublin’s south city.

In 2017, more than half of new bedrooms will come from new hotels, while the remaining 45 per cent will come from extensions to existing hotels.

In terms of star ratings, the study shows that four-star hotel bedrooms appear to be the most popular, with a stock increase of 65% in 2017, 65% in 2018, and 50% in 2019.

There are a number of hotels currently under construction in the city including the Clayton Hotel on Charlemont Street and the Maldron Hotel on Kevin Street, while extensions are being undertaken at The Dylan in Dublin 4 and the Merrion Hotel in Dublin 2.

Data published by STR last week, reported that the average daily rate of a hotel room in Ireland during April 2017 had reached €122.60. This is an increase of 7.7% compared to the previous year. During the same period, Dublin recorded a slightly lower percentage increase of 5.5%, but the average price of rooms came in more expensive at €129.04.

Last month saw Irish hotels record occupancy rates of 81.6% in April, a rise of 3.7% in April this year compared with April 2016.

Most popular brands revealed as own label popularity continues to grow

The most popular FMCG brands in Ireland have been revealed with Avonmore taking the top spot for the fifth year in a row. According to Kantar Worldpanel, the top four brands in the country are Avonmore in at number one position, followed in second place by Brennan’s with Denny in third, and Jacob’s in fourth.

Avonmore is purchased by 73.4% of Irish shoppers 28.8 times a year and this is the fifth year in a row Avonmore has held the top spot.

In second position, Brennan’s is chosen by 75.6% of Irish shoppers 27.5 times per year. In third place, Denny is bought by 70.8% of us on average 16.3 times throughout the year. Both Brennan’s and Denny retained their position from the previous year. However, Jacob’s moved up one to fourth place with 82.7% of Irish shoppers purchasing their products 12.9 times a year.

The biggest achievement of the year in terms of ranking belongs to fish specialist John West. The well-known brand rose 16 places to 37th position in the overall Irish ranking. It also managed to achieved the highest penetration (number of people purchasing their goods) increase of any brand in the top 50. The brand’s success was driven by customers responding to new products such as its steam pots range, which aims to successfully tap into growing demand among consumers for convenient food options.

This is according to Kantar Worldpanel, in their fifth annual fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) report. Kantar Worldpanel is a global expert in shoppers’ behaviour and the report measured which brands are being bought by the most consumers the most often.

These rankings come during an interesting time for FMCG brands as own-label products are becoming increasingly popular with consumers. There has been a growth rate of more than 6% for people buying own-brand goods while retailers have also seen a decline in shoppers picking up branded products.

David Berry, director of Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, speaking in a press release, has said retailers have responded to these changes by invest in gin their own brand offering. “Brands across all sectors are finding the Irish retail landscape more challenging. Traditional retailers have responded to a more competitive marketplace by expanding and improving their own-label lines — and brands and manufacturers are feeling the impact,”

“Own-label is growing by almost 6.2%, while the proportion of the population buying the top 10 branded products is down by an average 2.8%.” according to Mr Berry.

“Consumer behaviour is changing at a rapid pace. To keep up, brands and manufacturers will need to recognise consumer needs which aren’t being met or demographic group which are underperforming and come up with innovative new products and experiences that can successfully tap into these markets,” he said.

Food 10 food brands










Birds Eye

Nearly 20,000 jobs created in first three months of 2017

Nearly 20,000 jobs were created within the Irish economy in the first three months of 2017 as employment growth in Ireland continues to accelerate.

The latest Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) is considered the most accurate indicator of the state of the labour market and today shows there was an annual increase in employment of 3.5% or 68,600 in the first quarter of 2017. This brings total employment to 2.04 million, which is still below the State’s peak employment level, recorded as 2.16 million in the first quarter of 2008. Quarterly, employment grew by 19,300 in the first quarter of 2017, which was the fastest rate of growth recorded in nearly four years. This follows increases of 16,800 and 14,600 in the previous two quarters.

Employment increased in 11 of the 14 sectors reviewed as part of the survey. The largest rates of annual increase were recorded in the information and communication sector, which saw employment rise by 7,500 or 8.8% and the construction sector, where employment rose by 8.5% or 11,100. However, there were falls in employment in three sectors with the biggest decline coming in agriculture, forestry and fishing (-1,600), which one analyst linked to Brexit.

The QNHS showed there were 146,200 people classified as unemployed in the State in the first quarter of 2017, following an annual decrease 33,200 or 18.5%.Analysts are predicting unemployment will fall to below 6% before the end of the year.

As a result, the Republic’s headline rate of unemployment for April was put at 6.4 per cent, which represents a slight upward revision on the monthly series. Having had one of the highest rates of unemployment in Europe only a few years ago, the Republic’s Ireland’s unemployed rate now stands significantly below the euro area average of 9.5%, impressive considering the country had one of the highest rates of unemployment in Europe a few years ago.

Improving conditions in the labour market has turned the tide on emigration, which had been a feature of the early part of the financial crisis, with the most recent population figures indicating the State was now experiencing net inward migration.Employers’ group Ibec welcomed what it described as “exceptionally strong jobs numbers”, suggesting they were a sign of the strength and substance behind the State’s business model, while noting that the economy was weathering Brexit uncertainty “very well”.

Irish hotel occupancy rate rises to 81.6%, up 3.7% from last year

Irish hotels have recorded occupancy rates of 81.6% in April, a rise of 3.7% in April this year compared with April 2016. Dublin hotels, remained unchanged from this time last year, recording occupancy rates of 8%.

The data, published by STR, reports that the average daily rate of a hotel room in Ireland during April 2017 had reached €122.60. This is an increase of 7.7% compared to the previous year. During the same period, Dublin recorded a slightly lower percentage increase of 5.5%, but the average price of rooms came in more expensive at €129.04. Revenue per available room (RevPAR), or room revenue divided by rooms available, was €100.10 in the whole of Ireland in April 2017. That was an increase of 11.7% on the same period a year earlier.

In Dublin that figure was €111.01 for the same period, an increase of 5.4% compared to the same month in 2016. In the 12 months ending April 2017, activity within the hotel industry was slightly more restrained. In the whole of Ireland occupancy rates were 70.3%, the average daily rate of a room was €114.76, but the revenue per room available was considerably lower at €80.67. Those figures were all up on the previous year.

For the same period in Dublin, occupancy rates were slightly higher at 75.5%. The average daily rate for a room was €122.38 while the revenue per room available was €92.41 – an increase of 6.2% on the twelve months to the end of April 2016. Investec research suggested that revenue per room available will grow by 6.5% in Dublin by the end of 2017.

Irish Restaurant Awards 2017- Best Restaurants and Chefs in Ireland Announced

The best and the brightest of Ireland’s culinary scene gathered last night for the Restaurant Association’s annual awards.

The awards, the most awaited night in the restaurant industry’s social calendar and dubbed ‘the food Oscars’ took place in the Clayton Hotel in Dublin and were presented by Sile Seoige and Barry Murphy.

The biggest awards of the night went to of Best Restaurant went to Chapter One in Dublin owned by chef Ross Lewis and Best Chef went to Danni Barry, Ireland’s only female Michelin starred chef.

Ms Barry from Co Down is head chef at Deanes Eipic in Belfast. She previously worked with UK chef Simon Rogan at L’Enclume, as well as running the kitchen at Rogan & Co in Cartmel.

Six chefs, all previous winners of the regional titles, plus a representative of the hotel hosting the event, were each responsible for one course at the awards banquet, served to more than 900 industry figures. The panel of chefs was made up of Gary O’Hanlon (Viewmont House), Finbarr Higgins (The Clayton, formerly of The K Club), Jonathan Keane (The Lodge at Ashford Castle) Kevin Aherne (Sage, Cork), Gareth Mullins (The Marker Hotel) and David Gillmore (James Street South).


Best Restaurant

All -Ireland – Chapter One, Dublin

Dublin – Chapter One, Dublin

Connaught – Kai Café & Restaurant, Galway

Leinster – Sha-Roe Bistro, Carlow

Munster – Wild Honey Inn, Clare

Ulster– MacNean House & Restaurant, Cavan

Best Chef

All -Ireland – Danni Barry of Deanes Eipic, Antrim

Dublin – Ciaran Sweeney of Forest & Marcy, Dublin

Connaught – Shamzuri Hanifa of The Cottage Restaurant, Leitrim

Leinster – Gary O’Hanlon of VM Restaurant at Viewmount House, Longford

Munster – Keith Boyle of The Bay Tree Bistro, Waterford

Ulster – Danni Barry of Deanes Eipic, Antrim

Best Restaurant Manager

All -Ireland – Alain Kerloc’h of Ox, Antrim

Dublin – John Healy of Suesey Street, Dublin

Pub of the Year

All -Ireland – Morrissey’s, Laois

Dublin – The Long Hall, Dublin

Connaught – John Morans Bar, Mayo

Leinster – Morrissey’s, Laois

Munster – Davy Macs, Waterford

Ulster – The Coach House & Olde Bar, Monaghan

Best Hotel Restaurant

All -Ireland – The Dining Room at Gregans Castle Hotel, Clare

Dublin – The Saddle Room at The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin

Connaught – Wildes at the Lodge, Mayo

Leinster – Ballyfin Demesne, Laois

Munster – The Dining Room at Gregans Castle Hotel, Clare

Ulster – St Kyrans Country House Restaurant, Cavan

Best Newcomer

All -Ireland – Forest & Marcy, Dublin

Dublin – Forest & Marcy, Dublin

Connaught – Cian’s On Bridge Street, Mayo

Leinster – No. Three Old Bar & Restaurant, Louth

Munster – Holy Smoke, Cork

Ulster – Bull & Ram, Down

Best Gastro Pub

All -Ireland – Walled City Brewery, Derry

Dublin – The Exchequer, Dublin

Connaught – Keenans of Tarmonbarry Gastro Bar, Roscommon

Leinster – Mary Barry’s Bar, Wexford

Munster – Morrissey’s Bar and Restaurant, Clare

Ulster – Walled City Brewery, Derry

Best Customer Service

All -Ireland – The Maigue Restaurant at Dunraven Arms Hotel, Limerick

Dublin – Chapter One, Dublin

Connaught – Library Restaurant at Belleek Castle, Mayo

Leinster – Lennons @ Visual, Carlow

Munster – The Maigue Restaurant at Dunraven Arms Hotel, Limerick

Ulster – MacNean House & Restaurant, Cavan

Best Casual Dining

All -Ireland – The Muddlers Club, Antrim

Dublin – Etto, Dublin

Connaught – Bar One, Mayo

Leinster – Wild and Native, Wexford

Munster – Momo Restaurant, Waterford

Ulster – The Muddlers Club, Antrim

Best Wine Experience

All -Ireland – Ox Cave, Antrim

Dublin – Etto, Dublin

Connaught – Sheridans Cheesemongers Wine Bar, Galway

Leinster – Greenacres, Wexford

Munster – L’Atitude51 Wine Café, Cork

Ulster – Ox Cave, Antrim

Best Kids Size Me

All -Ireland – Café Rua, Mayo

Dublin – Farmhill, Dublin

Best World Cuisine

All -Ireland – Wa Café, Galway

Dublin – 777, Dublin

Best Café

All -Ireland – Lost & Found, Derry

Dublin – Meet Me in the Morning, Dublin

Local Food Hero

All -Ireland – Michael Kelly of GROW HQ, Waterford

Dublin – Brid & Colm Carter of Honest2Goodness, Dublin

Best Emerging Irish Cuisine

All -Ireland – Forest & Marcy, Dublin

Dublin – Forest & Marcy, Dublin

Best Digital Marketing

Two Boys Brew, Dublin

Best Cookery School

Riot Rye Bakehouse & Bread School, Tipperary

Best Private Dining & Club Restaurant

Pullman Restaurant at Glenlo Abbey Hotel, Galway

Best Seafood Experience

Fish Shop Queen St, Dublin

Best Cocktail Experience

Candlelight Bar at Siam Thai Dundrum, Dublin

Grocery Market Shares: Irish consumers spend €3 million on Easter eggs as Supervalu retain top spot

Irish consumers made the most of their Easter break this year, buying nearly 100,000 chocolate eggs in recent weeks and increasing their spend on the Easter treats by over €3million this year compared to 2016.

According to the latest grocery market share figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, which cover the 12 week period up to April 23rd , shoppers were more than willing to spend heavily on traditional seasonal favourites such as Easter eggs, hot cross buns and fresh lamb. Supermarket sales were boosted by the growing popularity of some seasonal favourites with the Kantar figurers revealing sales of hot cross buns jumping by 24% increase buns, a 9% increase in the sale of Easter eggs and fresh lamb sales increasing by 10%.

This boost comes during a time of deflation within the grocery industry with the cost of groceries has fallen slightly in recent months although few consumers are likely to notice much benefit from a 0.3% price decline.

In terms of the ongoing fierce battle for number one supermarket, SuperValu have remained in top spot with 22.8% of the market, which is up 1.8% compared to this time last year.SuperValu was also the only one of the country’s top five grocers’ to have attracted more shoppers within the period with an additional 8,000 customers visiting the supermarket in the past 12 weeks compared to the same period the year before.

Dunnes Stores remained in second place but posted the strongest growth in sales out of all the major retailers. The retailer’s sales increased by an impressive 5.1% since last year. This growth has been caused in part by shoppers adding more to their baskets, with an average spend of just under €40, almost €17 higher than the average for the grocery market.Tesco saw sales fall by 0.6% meaning the chain now occupies 21.6%of the market. Lidl remains slightly on top with a market share of 11.3% while Aldi commands 11%.

New research shows Irish consumers frustrated by in-store retail technology


Research by Fujitsu Ireland found that consumers expect more from their experience using technology in retail stores and many shoppers feel the in-store technology in Irish stores is either ‘quite often poor’ or ‘very poor’. Common complaints about the tech experience available include it being too slow (45%), unreliable (32%) and immobile (14%).

The research found that many shoppers say that they make use of in-store technology including digital enquiry points, stock-monitoring applications and mobile tablets, every time they shop (24%) and three in ten(29%) were less than impressed with the experience. Fifty per cent of Irish shoppers point to the ability to browse and buy in person as their primary reason for visiting a physical store. Following this, a quarter (27%) of shoppers mainly hit the high street for “in-store shopping experience”.

Close to a third (31%) of Irish shoppers believe that staff are not adequately trained on the technology they are expected to use. This statistic is in stark contrast to another section of the report in which a massive 91% of retail staff feel fully confident using the technology provided.

Despite this, the report highlights the potential for technology to enhance the instore experience of both consumers and staff. Half of consumers (49%) within the study stated that the available technology serves to speed up the service they receive. A third (34%) cite the ability to access additional product information as a bonus, while personalised offers and vouchers (25%) are also a draw for customers.

Well over half of shoppers within the study say that both the quality of in-store technology directly affects their loyalty to a particular retailer (59%) and that they have proactively chosen to buy an item from one store over another because they knew they would enjoy a better technology experience (57%). Interestingly (76%), say that a positive technology experience would increase the likelihood of them purchasing additional items.

Hotel News- Major hotels planned for Dublin and Galway

Hotel and food market planned for Galway’s city centre, Tivoli owner adds ‘performance space’ to proposed 283 bedroom hotel, DCC give green light to Stephen’s Green luxury hotel.

€60 million hotel and food market planned for Galway

A €60 million development is in the works for the centre of Galway comprising a brand new 200 room hotel and a covered market. The food hall is expected to cover 17,000 square feet and will be situated under a double height ceiling. It will draw inspiration from similar food markets in Europe, such as London’s Covent Garden. The Connaught Tribune reports that ‘discussions are under way with a hotel operator which specialises in boutique-style city hotels in Europe’. The plans outline that the Market Hall will have capacity for 80 market stalls and would focus primarily on food, while there’s also plans for roof top terrace restaurant. The development is still subject to planning approval from Galway City Council.

The new proposed development will be located on Galway’s Market Street and the project is the brainchild of Michael Maye a telecoms entrepreneur and is being promoted by Davy Private Finance.

Performance space added to proposed hotel on Tivoli theatre site

The owner of Dublin’s Tivoli Theatre has added a ‘performance space’ to a proposed 283- bedroom hotel in a bid to obtain planning permission on the site of the theatre, its owner has proposed adding a new “performance space” to the development.

Planning consultants working for Anthony Byrne have told Dublin City Council the proposed hotel development in Dublin 8 would include a new public area, Tivoli Square,that would double as an “occasional” outdoor cinema and venue for performances.

In January, Byrne applied for planning permission to demolish the Tivoli Theatre and replace it with a six-storey, 298-bedroom aparthotel.

Byrne has reportedly written to the council stating the development will operate the proposed new indoor venue as a cultural facility into the future.

DCC give go ahead for €40million luxury hotel in Stephen’s Green

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL have given the green light to a €40 million plan to convert Loreto Hall on St Stephen’s Green into a luxury hotel.

DCC has given the company heading up the project, Brown Table Solutions Ltd, permission to go ahead with their plan for an 87-bedroom hotel which will include a restaurant and spa at 77 St Stephen’s Green. The project will involve building an eight-storey block to the rear.

The development has been giving the go ahead in spite of objections from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Irish Georgian Society.

The Ministerial offices of the DFA are located next door at Iveagh House and, in its objection, Director of the Department’s Property Management Unit Kevin Colgan told the council that “the privacy and security of Iveagh House is of paramount importance”.

Mr Colgan pointed out that Iveagh House regularly hosts Heads of State, national and foreign dignitaries, political leaders and high-ranking diplomats for sensitive meetings and negotiations.

He said: “The proposal to construct a bank of hotel rooms with windows facing directly into the Iveagh House offices and ballroom (its main meeting room) with inadequate separation distance, is of great concern to the DFA.”

Loreto Hall went on sale last year with a guide price of €5.75 million. In 1911, it was bought by the Loreto Sisters to use as a hostel for young women from outside Dublin attending the National University at nearby Earlsfort Terrace and the Hall – built in 1765 – remained in use for “country girls” going to colleges in the city until the 1990s.

Objectors have the option of appealing the Council decision to An Bord Pleanála.

card factory new stores

UK card retailer plans 50 new Irish stores

Popular UK card retailer, the Card Factory has announced plans to open 50 new stores in Ireland. The planned stores will be opened over the next three years nationwide.

The Card Factory currently operates more than 800 stores in Britain and has now begun its expansion into the Irish market. The company first mentioned plans for Irish operations three years ago, proposing 100 new stores.

CEO of the company, Karen Hubbard, who is relatively new to the role, becoming CEO a year ago, has told investors that the company plans to expand into Ireland due to the “clear opportunity” to build a strong presence here. The retailer has just established a company in Ireland to spearhead the expansion. Over the next three years, Card Factory plans to open a total of about 50 stores a year.

The company has expanded at a rapid pace in the UK and plans to replicate that growth in Ireland. At the start of February 2016, the Card Factory had 814 outlets across the UK, including a handful in the North. This figure had risen to 865 stores in the UK by the end of January 2017.

The company posted revenue of £398.2m (€473.2m) in its last financial year, with like-for-like increases of under 1%.Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) was £98.5m (€117m), which was 3.8% higher on the previous financial year.

The Card Factory was founded by Dean Hoyle and his wife Janet and the first store opened in 1997.