More than 500 retailers from across the country gathered on Tuesday and Wednesday in the plush surroundings of the Carton House Hotel in Kildare for the annual jamboree of lobby group Retail Excellence Ireland.
The mood among those present was described as “positive but wary” in relation to the future of the economy.
David Sneddon of Google Ireland took part in the Great Debate on Thursday, giving retailers copious tips on the online world. Sneddon told of a recent conversation he had with mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz.
Scholz has a summer home in Galway. Why, asked the mayor, can he not buy online the lovely soda bread he can buy in the shops near his Irish getaway?
There’s a business idea for someone: selling much-loved Irish products online to our German friends.
Perhaps we could also advertise the State’s bank shares on the website.
Other contributors included Simon Wall, the town architect of Westport. He spoke about how the town won the accolade from The Irish Times of Best Place to Live in Ireland, 2014. It does have lovely shops, in fairness.