The changing face of Irish retailing

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Bowen, Simon
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Business Information Management
Dublin Business School
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The objective of this research was to assess the attitudes and opinions of retailers in the Irish retailing industry and their views on technology and the future of retailing. Six in-depth interviews were conducted with Irish retailers of various sizes, outlet types and web presence to provide a cross section analysis of the Irish retail industry. Each retailer was interviewed using a theme sheet with pre-selected questions addressing the objectives. The main findings of the research are detailed below: The consumer, technology, competition and the Celtic Tiger have all been factors of change in the Irish retail industry in the last five years. These factors have all influenced the future trends in the industry. Retailers are faced with current challenges such as new Information Technology, increased competition and a more demanding customer. The Internet is regarded as being more of a future challenge than a current one. E-commerce has made an impact on the retail industry despite the concerns of security, confidentiality etc. Retailers were experiencing more economic benefits in the business-to-business (b2b) end, but were still creating websites for customers to use for information purposes rather than sales. The Irish consumer remains sceptical and anxious about purchasing online. The future of retailing making a transition to e-tailing in Ireland was uncertain and the mindsets of both the consumer and the retailer needs to change. Whether this is possible remains to be seen. The main conclusion of this research is that the 'Information Age' has affected retailers. The distribution channels, communication channels and sales channels have all been enhanced. Retailers must now seize the many potential opportunities and threats taking place.