How Irish retailers have diversified to survive during lockdown
With retail reopening across the country, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the sector. This glimmer of hope follows months of clever strategizing, smart innovation and resilience of spirit from Ireland’s retailers, who’ve worked tirelessly to provide an essential service in uncertain times.
In the depth of crisis retailers have diversified, and across the Irish retail sector we’ve seen some incredible examples of problem solving, adapting and seizing the opportunity in a setback.
While the pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, it hasn’t changed the resilient spirit of Irish retailers, nor their ability to adapt, thrive and diversify.
Getting the essentials
Caseys, a Londis store in Castlebar, is one retailer who has been doing just that. They’ve eased the burden for shoppers getting the necessities with the launch of their essentials boxes. They’ve created three in total each ranging between €20 and €25 in price.
Their fresh essentials box contains eggs, milk, bread and other fresh items shoppers need on a weekly basis. Likewise, their grocery essentials box includes a selection of kitchen regulars like teabags, baked beans, biscuits and cooking sauces, while their cleaning essentials boxes are packed with anti-bacterial spray, multi-purposing cleaning wipes and washing powder; all top-sellers in the current climate.
Each box is available for delivery, ensuring vulnerable members of the community are able to get their hands on the weekly essentials without the fuss of a shopping list or a trip in-store.
Click and collect
On top of this, Caseys has also launched a click and collect service for their deli, The Kitchen at Caseys, providing a range of hot meals.
The launch of similar click and collect and delivery services has been a common thread for many Irish retailers during this time. Circle K launched Ireland’s largest free delivery service. Through this all their products in store can be ordered and delivered to any location within a three kilometre radius of Circle K company-owned service stations. Customers can place their orders by phone with priority slots made available for elderly and vulnerable members of the community.
New technologies have also been a help to Irish retailers keen to diversify, with increased numbers of shoppers accessing shopping services digitally. Daybreak in Castlerea have been making use of the Daybreak Deli App to ensure shopping is made easier for their customers during the pandemic. Customers are able to order groceries and items from the deli for delivery or click and collect with a few taps on a smartphone.
They’ve diversified their deli range to include burger Fridays, steak nights and freshly baked pizzas to give customers a night off from cooking.
Irish retailers have also diversified their products and services according to customers’ changing purchasing preferences. For Fresh Good Food Market, this has meant partnering with two leading Dublin restaurants, Asador and Prado, to offer customers restaurant quality food.
With the hospitality sector currently on hold, many consumers are keen to recreate the restaurant experience at home.
The executive chef teams from each restaurant have created the ‘ASADOR|PRADO AT HOME’ BBQ Meal Kits, with each kit comprising everything you need for the perfect BBQ at home. Premium quality meat, brioche buns, sides and sauces are boxed in a convenient pack with instructions for cooking.
Noel Smith, founder and Managing Director at Fresh The Good Food Market said he was delighted to serve customers in new ways.
“This collaboration will offer our customers even more choice, quality and new food experiences at home. At the same time, we are able to grow our online operation with exciting offers. By forging partnerships with restaurants we can help them out at a time of crisis, whilst also serving customers in new ways”.
Times have changed in recent months, but people still want to access the products and services they know and love, and across Ireland, countless retailers have quickly diversified to ensure their needs are met. Whether it’s increasing delivery services, or spotting demand for a product that’s inaccessible during lockdown and finding a way to reproduce it.
As countless retailers up and down the country prove, with a little innovation Ireland’s retail sector is capable of transforming in the face of adversity.