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RGDATA local shops local communities

Providing a strong voice for family owned grocery/convenience shops for over 70 years

Fresh Food Innovators Promoting Local Produce

Vital Local Employers Providing 90,000 Jobs


Best Supporters Of Local Communities


c a i t d e e d D to being No. 1

There’s a simple reason we’re proven to be Ireland’s best-selling bread year after year. Dedication. A dedication to baking the freshest and tastiest range of breads that truly answer the needs of the modern Irish shopper. A dedication which also ensures we remain the number one bread brand in Ireland. So, we’ll keep baking unrivalled breads so you can keep enjoying unrivalled sales.

RGDATA | Contents


Message from Tara Buckley Director General RGDATA


RGDATA President’s Message


News Updates


Welcome to the RGDATA Annual packed full of vital information about Ireland’s vibrant independent retail grocery/convenience sector.


2016 has been a campaigning year for RGDATA and a very busy time for the 4,000 local shops, convenience stores and supermarkets that we represent as we all tackle the daily challenges of what is a really competitive sector.

Feature: Independent Retailers tell their story


Presentation to Leinster House - True Value of Local Shops


Revitalising Ireland’s Town Centres


Planning Activity


RGDATA Representing You


RGDATA Campaigns


RGDATA 24/7 Members’ Advice


Social Media for Community Retailers


RGDATA Submissions


The Benefits of RGDATA Membership


On page 16 our main feature highlights how the independent grocery/convenience sector is Irish retail’s biggest employer providing 90,000 jobs and is the best supporter of Ireland contributing €3.6 billion every year to the national economy. All the news and details of the many campaigns and activities carried out by RGDATA over the past 12 months are set out from page 6. Read about what we have been doing and get in touch with your views, comments and any issues that are concerning you. We thrive on member contacts and really value your contributions. Get snapshot details of the many campaigns that RGDATA is actively engaged with including the significant contribution of local independent shops, retail crime, retail wage rates and jobs in independent shops, banking costs and services, sale of alcohol and structural separation, shop insurance & spurious claims, payment services, food labelling, black market/counterfeit goods and carriage charges. As we go to press, RGDATA’s campaigns on Structural Separation and Shop Insurance Claims are making headlines. Read more on these campaigns on page 33. A delegation of shop owners attended an RGDATA presentation to TD’s and Senators in Leinster House in October on the True Value of Local Shops. Go to page 30 to see how they got on. Vibrant town centres is a key issue for independent shops owners so RGDATA has invested a lot of time in ensuring sustainable retail development and campaigning for a National Town Centre Management strategy. Read all about this activity on page 34. Thank you to all who actively participate in our surveys and campaigns. Your support and assistance is greatly appreciated. A strong united trade association is a powerful force.

RGDATA Annual is a member publication produced by RGDATA Ltd, Rock House, Main Street, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Contact rgdata@rgdata.ie. Managing Editor: Communications Manager: Design & Layout:

Tara Buckley (tbuckley@rgdata.ie) Kathleen Cahill (kcahill@rgdata.ie) www.designroom.ie (info@designroom.ie)

Whilst every care is taken in compiling this Annual to ensure that it is correct at the time of going to press, RGDATA does not assume any responsibility for any defects, errors or omissions. This Annual is not a substitute for professional advice on individual circumstances or applying to particular conditions and where necessary independent advice should be sought before acting on the basis of information contained in this publication. All rights are reserved and no part of this publication may be scanned, photocopied, copied or duplicated without permission of the publisher. RGDATA Annual is distributed free to RGDATA members.

A special thanks to the President and the Directors who volunteer their time to RGDATA and help make us an effective and active trade association. Please get in touch with us on any comments you have or issues you would like RGDATA to address. In the meantime the team at RGDATA wish you every success in 2017 and beyond.

Tara Buckley, Director General RGDATA



President’s Message 2016 has been a busy and successful year for RGDATA.

Colin Fee President RGDATA

As President, I was proud to represent Irish community retailers at an event in the European Parliament in Brussels. I highlighted the huge contribution that local family owned shops make to local communities. We create more local jobs; give local producers their first start and are great innovators ourselves as we tweak and trial new concepts in our stores to suit our local customers.

I highlighted the results of the research that RGDATA carried out amongst members that resulted in the publication of a Local Heroes II report by economist Jim Power. This important report provides compelling information to assist RGDATA in speaking with conviction about the contribution of local family owned shops. Thanks to our sponsors the National Lottery and Payzone. I also led an RGDATA delegation of border county retailers who met with the Low Pay Commission in Monaghan to highlight the particular concerns of convenience retailers in the border areas. Together we have a strong voice and will be listened to. I encourage all those who are not members to join up now. No other trade association has provided such positive representation for independent convenience/grocery retailers. RGDATA has been at the forefront for 70 years and we need that to continue into the future. Some of the key issues being addressed during my Presidency include highlighting the unfair Structural Separation proposal in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill 2015. RGDATA is fighting to stop this unfair and unnecessary proposal and you should make sure that you make your views know to your local TDs.

“Another issue that I have taken a personal interest in is the non-existent margins for retailers on payment services. I believe that retailers should not accept any services in their store that do not deliver a decent margin. Every square meter of your store must wash its face. Otherwise we will be busy fools”. Colin Fee, President, RGDATA

Colin & Eugene Fee opened a new store on the Dublin Road in Dundalk that was featured in the latest Maxol TV advertisement.

“RGDATA has just made a very successful presentation to TD’s and Senators in Leinster House and we are preparing for meetings with Minister Heather Humphreys and Minister Michael Ring. This is why it is so important to be active and engaged in RGDATA.” Colin Fee, President, RGDATA

We are all reaping the rewards of RGDATA’s success in ensuring the maintenance of the National Lottery Retail Agent’s Margin. Lottery sales are up in members’ shops so RGDATA has delivered €10,000 plus to your bottom line every year. RGDATA was also instrumental in stopping every symbol group retailer in the country from being subject to the new Grocery Goods Regulations. This would have added a lot of regulation, training costs and dedicated staff costs to our businesses. That’s probably saving each of us about €5,000 annually. RGDATA also had great success with its challenge to a new double size Lidl in Enniscorthy. RGDATA is the only trade association that monitors retail planning and gets actively involved in the planning process and in ensuring sustainable retail planning. We are also proud to have launched a National Pilot Town Centre Health Check workshop in association with The Heritage Council and many other partners. RGDATA is leading the way in this policy area. I would like to thank my fellow Directors and all members that took part in delegations this year. Collectively we are an extremely important part of local communities throughout Ireland. Having a strong collective voice in RGDATA will help us all to grow and thrive in 2017.

Central Bank

Rounding Update Rounding change up or down to the nearest five cent is conducted on a voluntary basis to reduce the use of one and two cent coins.


public awareness October

of people surveyed think rounding is a good idea or has made no difference

126 million

unwanted coins lodged

Rounding introduced nationwide NO NEW & COINS ISSUED

1c coin costs 1.65c to make 2c coin costs 2.1c to make




Your Month By Month Guide To Rgdata Activity 2016

OCTOBER RGDATA presentation Leinster House: RGDATA members were invited to join Tara Buckley and members of the Board at a special presentation for TDs and Senators Wednesday 5 October in the AV Room in Leinster House. “This was an opportunity for RGDATA to highlight the contribution of local independent shops and to inform TDs and Senators about the issues of concern to local community retailers. Insurance costs for shops, town centre regeneration and structural separation were just some of the issues that were raised,” said Tara Buckley, Director General RGDATA. “RGDATA organises these events to make sure that the voice of local family owned convenience retailers is heard loud and clear by politicians and regulators,” says RGDATA President Colin Fee. “This provides community retailers with a great opportunity to make their views known to our politicians and to influence policy and legislation.”

STRUCTURAL SEPARATION: RGDATA delegation meets Junior Health Minister Marcella Corcoran Kennedy An RGDATA delegation led by Director General Tara Buckley met with Minister of State at the Department of Health Marcella Corcoran Kennedy to raise independent retailers’ concerns about the Structural Separation measures in the Public Health Alcohol Bill.


Rounding gets a thumbs up from consumers 93% of consumers say rounding of one and two cent coins is a good idea, according to a RedC poll commissioned by the Central Bank. 80% of RGDATA members say they have introduced rounding in the past year.

RGDATA to meet with Minister Heather Humphreys An RGDATA delegation will meet with Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys in November. RGDATA will raise town centre revitalisation; town centre health checks, rural regeneration and other issues of concern to local community retailers.

Disappointing response once again from Competition & Consumer Protection Commission The Competition & Consumer Protection Commission says it will do nothing about RGDATA’s complaint about a misleading Lidl price comparison advertising campaign.

National Town Centre Health Check Pilot: Workshop 1 The first workshop for the representatives from ten pilot towns takes place in Naas Town Hall on 29 September. RGDATA and the Heritage Council collaborated with representatives from Government Departments; Local Authorities, Educational bodies and trader representative organisations and experts in planning, architecture, town centre management and public realm development to organise the workshop.

Independent Shops Invest €41 million in local sponsorships: RGDATA Independent shops are the best supporters of local communities collectively investing €41 million annually in local sponsorship and charitable contributions, RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley tells Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Summit 2016 on Thursday 15 September.


An Bord Pleanala upholds RGDATA objection regarding Neighbourhood store in Enniscorthy

RGDATA Event: Social Media for Community Convenience Retailers

An Bord Pleanála refuses permission for Lidl Ireland to demolish an existing store in Enniscorthy and replace it with a larger “new concept” store. “RGDATA welcomes this decision. The Board has upheld the argument that RGDATA made that the proposed development would constitute a significant intensification of retail provision in the area to a degree that would be contrary to the neighbourhood centre zoning objective of the area. Neighbourhood centres are supposed to serve the local community and should not be overdeveloped as this will impact on the vitality and viability of the local town centre,” said Tara Buckley, RGDATA Director General.

RGDATA hosts a bespoke Social Media session with Maryrose Lyons from Brightspark Consulting. The informative and practical workshop is followed up with very practical online training for shop owners and their staff to get up and running on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.

Action on shop insurance costs & town centre revival: RGDATA call RGDATA’s Tara Buckley said the Government must act on unsustainable shop insurance costs and on funding a National Programme for Town Centre Health Checks and Town Centre Revival Plans. She was speaking on Newstalk radio.

August Sale of Alcohol Bill: RGDATA reminds members to make local TDs aware of their concerns regarding Structural Separation As Health Minister Simon Harris claims the Sale of Alcohol Bill – which contains a section on Structural Separation in mixed trading stores – will go ahead in the Autumn despite opposition from EU members, RGDATA reminds members to voice their concerns with local TDs. “Retailers must take every opportunity to explain to local TDs about the damaging impact that Structural Separation will have on your store without bringing any health benefits. RGDATA will also be informing the Minister and politicians about the unfair impact of structural separation on local family owned shops,” says RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley.

Minister Humphreys invited to launch National Town Centre Health Check Pilot Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD declines invite to launch the National Town Centre Health Check Pilot. The Town Centre Health Check Pilot workshop 1 takes place in Naas in September with representatives from ten towns attending.

RGDATA members make Irish Times Best Shops in Ireland 2016 Shortlist RGDATA congratulates members including Ardkeen Quality Foodstore, Country Choice The Milk Market and Nolan’s, Clontarf for making the shortlist for the Irish Times 2016 Best Shops in Ireland.

ASAI seeks Lidl response on “Full Shop” advertising complaint Advertising Standards updates RGDATA on its complaint about the Lidl “Half Price” advertising campaign saying it has asked Lidl for a full response.

Independents operating as SuperValu still No 1: Kantar Worldpanel SuperValu retains its position as the country’s No 1 grocery retailer according to the latest grocery statistics from Kantar Worldpanel.

RGDATA President Colin Fee profiled in ShelfLife MACE/Maxol retailer Colin Fee talks about his activities for RGDATA representing community retailers and highlighting the key issues for family owned shops.

July RGDATA meets Enterprise & Jobs Minister RGDATA President Colin Fee and Director General Tara Buckley meet Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation to discuss the key challenges facing local, family owned grocery/convenience shops. RGDATA highlighted key issues for independent retailers including town centre regeneration; tackling rising business costs including bank charges and insurance premiums; retail crime; structural separation; fair tax treatment for entrepreneurs and ensuring realistic wage rates.




Retail Consultation Forum supports RGDATA/ Heritage Council Town Centre Health Checks proposal RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley makes a presentation to the Government’s Retail Consultation Forum on a Town Centre Health Check pilot that could pave the way for a national Town Centre Regeneration programme. RGDATA and the Heritage Council have devised the pilot to provide expert training and mentoring for Town Centre Health Checks and the development of Town Centre Regeneration plans. “Town centre regeneration is a major issue for RGDATA members who play a key role in their towns driving daily footfall, investing in the town, providing employment and supporting other businesses. Independent food retailers are the heart of vibrant towns,” Tara Buckley told the RCF.

Low Pay Commission recommends 10c increase in Minimum Wage The Low Pay Commission completes its deliberations and recommends a 10 cent an hour increase in the Minimum Wage. Government is expected to adopt the recommendation and increase the Minimum Wage to €9.25 per hour.

Lidl Campaign misleading and should be prohibited: RGDATA responds to Competition & Consumer Protection Commission In a strongly worded letter RGDATA urges the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission to intervene to stop a misleading Lidl advertising campaign.

RGDATA to host Independent Retail Europe Annual Conference EU funding for independent shops is the theme of the 2016 Independent Retail Europe Annual Conference taking place in Dublin in November. Experts on EU Financing programmes from the European Investment Bank and the European Commission will outline details of financing schemes available for shop owners and provide ideas on the type of projects to apply for.

RGDATA attends EU workshop on “operational restrictions in the retail sector” RGDATA defends Ireland’s retail planning guidelines at a Brussels’ workshop on Friday 8 July hosted by DG for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME Business-to-Business Services.

RGDATA calls for review of the application of Data Protection Law RGDATA calls on Minister with responsibility for Data Protection, Dara Murphy TD to amend Data Protection law to facilitate the use of CCTV for crime prevention in retail premises.

June 25% minimum wage hike unsustainable: RGDATA RGDATA joined other groups representing local employers to urge the Low Pay Commission not to recommend a 25% hike in the Minimum Wage to €11.50 an hour.

National Planning Framework: RGDATA attends Stakeholder consultation Take an active stance on Consumer Protection: RGDATA urges Competition & Consumer Protection Commission RGDATA calls on CCPC Chair Isolde Goggin to take action and address consumer protection issues that impact on thousands of small Irish businesses and the communities they serve.

RGDATA’s Tara Buckley attends a one-day stakeholder consultation on the new National Planning Framework. The NPF will be a 20 year strategy for the spatial development of Ireland. RGDATA highlighted the vital role that independent family owned food shops play in vibrant communities and called for annual Town Centre Health Checks to be made statutory.

Alcohol Bill: RGDATA highlights concerns re Structural Separation RGDATA urges members to make their concerns about a proposal for Structural Separation in the Sale of Alcohol Bill 2015 known to their local representatives. The Government says it intends to reintroduce the Bill into the Dail & Seanad once concerns raised by EU countries about certain aspects of the Bill are addressed. RGDATA says “Structural Separation will have significant security, health & safety and store layout impacts for local community stores who are responsible retailers of alcohol.”


RGDATA Delegation meets Low Pay Commission An RGDATA delegation led by President Colin Fee meets with members of the Low Pay Commission in Monaghan on Thursday 28 April to highlight issues faced by retail employers in the border area. Topics discussed included wage differences, illegal fuel, tobacco and VAT anomalies.

National Crime Prevention Unit issues fraud alert to retailers

RGDATA makes complaint about “erroneous & misleading” advertisements

Garda issues a warning to shop owners about fraudsters posing as new customers who order goods or services for which they make an overpayment and then seek a refund. The original order payment, usually a cheque or draft, later turns out to be bogus leaving the business with a loss.

RGDATA makes formal complaints to the Advertising Standards Association and the Consumer & Competition Commission regarding a misleading Lidl Ireland “Half Price” campaign.

May Programme for Government 2016: RGDATA Analysis RGDATA highlights positives for independent shops in the new Programme for Government and a number of challenges including plans to implement the Public Health Alcohol Bill, an increase in the Minimum Wage, the introduction of a sugar tax and plans to make Ireland tobacco free by 2025.

Don’t reintroduce Alcohol Bill with Structural Separation: RGDATA urges new Minister for Health RGDATA urges new Health Minister Simon Harris not to introduce the Sale of Alcohol Bill 2015 back into the Houses of the Oireachtas in its current format. RGDATA has highlighted the concerns of local shop owners regarding structural separation and the difficulties it poses for their businesses.

“Never compromise on quality for your customers,” advises Cormac Pettitt, SuperValu, Wexford Town: RGDATA Members’ Online Video Tip A new high quality in-store bakery in Pettitt’s SuperValu in Wexford is surpassing all expectations. The bakery is already operating to full capacity and employs 14 people. Check out Cormac’s online tip on members’ section www.rgdata.ie

RGDATA meets Planning Chiefs re Town Centre Regeneration RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley met with senior planning officials in the Department of the Environment on Thursday 28 to discuss an RGDATA/Heritage Council proposal on Town Centre Health Checks and Town Centre regeneration.

Musgrave announce SuperValu and Centra investment programmes SuperValu announces it will invest €28 million in 2016, opening five new stores and adding 350 jobs. Centra will open 16 new stores this year, adding 480 jobs, as part of a €16 million investment programme.

Advertising Standards and Competition Commission acknowledge RGDATA complaint re “erroneous and misleading” Lidl campaign The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission acknowledged RGDATA’s complaints about a Lidl campaign.



RGDATA highlight shop owners’ concerns about loss making payment services


RGDATA highlights members’ concerns at the low margin being forced upon retailers by payment service suppliers. RGDATA was responding to media queries following a warning from the National Roads Authority about surcharging on Leap Card top ups.

RGDATA addresses Irish Planning Institute Conference Tara Buckley makes a presentation to the annual IPI Conference in Athlone. The conference theme is “Implementation and Engagement: Planning in a New Era” and Tara Buckley speaks about Sustainable Retail Development and Irish Towns and the vital importance of local independent food shops to vibrant town centres.

XL to open 23 new stores in 2016: BWG

RGDATA in the Media: Town Centre Health Checks

BWG announces expansion of XL stores and creation of 200 jobs across the country.

RGDATA’s call for the development of a National Town Centre Management Strategy to include mandatory Town Centre Health Checks at Irish Planning Institute Conference gets national and local media coverage.

Tobacco Packaging introduction delayed: Department of Health The introduction of standardised tobacco packaging is delayed until the enactment of the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2016.


Iconic JC’s in Swords to invest €1.5 million in store upgrade Michael Savage, Managing Director of independent supermarket JC’s in Swords tells the Dublin Inquirer how the independent supermarket is facing the challenges of a tough competitive marketplace.

No music and dimmed lights a big hit in Scally’s SuperValu Clonakilty

RGDATA: 8.6% increase in shoplifting is “totally unacceptable” RGDATA reacts strongly to CSO latest statistics on crime which show that shoplifting has increased by 8.6% to more than 22,500 reported crimes (in the 12 months to December 2015).

Independent shops the best supporters of local communities: RGDATA President tells EU Parliament workshop in Brussels. Independent retailer and RGDATA President Colin Fee, who operates convenience and forecourt stores in Dundalk and Drogheda, highlights the significant contribution made by community retailers to Irish towns and villages at an event in Brussels. “The social impact of independent retailers in the local community“ took place at the European Parliament in Brussels hosted by MEP Arne Gericke and Independent Retail Europe.

Eugene Scally gets inspiration from a customer seeking a better shopping environment for people with Autism. No music and dimmed lights is a big hit with local customers and crowds flock to the West Cork store.

80% of RGDATA members are rounding: RGDATA Rounding Survey for Central Bank: RGDATA’s survey on rounding reveals that the vast majority of shops have introduced rounding and are reasonably pleased with the results. There are mixed reasons for the 20% who are not rounding including customer dissatisfaction. The Central Bank will review the results and RGDATA has suggested a new consumer communications campaign to highlight the benefits.

March RGDATA members are furious at new terms for Independent News & Media New terms for INM newspapers from 29/2/16 cause retailer concerns over margin reductions and a new “loyalty rebate scheme”.


“Drive Profits and Save Money” RGDATA Regional Seminar supported by AIB RGDATA members in the West attend an RGDATA/AIB Seminar in Radisson Hotel, Galway. Topics covered include cost management, efficient payroll, rostering and in-store energy savings.

Independent Retailers not profiteering from rounding: RGDATA Claims by the Consumers Association that retailers are “profiteering from rounding” are rejected by RGDATA.

Phone thefts while shopping: Crime Prevention Day The theft of mobile phones from customers who are doing their grocery shopping is highlighted on Crime Prevention Day Monday 14 March. Shop owners are asked to encourage customers to look after their mobile phones while shopping.

RGDATA provides the most articulate voice for independent family owned convenience retailers. Not a member of RGDATA yet, join today by calling 01-2834188 Grocery Regulations Published The Guidelines for the Consumer Protection Act 2007 (Grocery Goods Undertakings) Regulations 2016 are published by the Department of Jobs Enterprise and Innovation.

Food Labelling and Allergens information: RGDATA seeks ways to make life easier for independent shops RGDATA continues to monitor ways to make Food Labelling and Allergens regulations easier to implement for your food business. RGDATA reminds members who have experienced inconsistencies in the way EHOs interpret the rules to alert the FSAI.

February Consultation on National Minimum Wage: Submission by RGDATA

RGDATA meets Department of Health regarding Public Health (Alcohol) Bill

RGDATA’s latest submission to the Low Pay Commission is available on www.rgdata.ie. RGDATA reminds shop owners it is vital that we hear views on all issues relating to the cost of employment so RGDATA can represent members’ interests and influence regulators and policy.

An RGDATA delegation meets with officials at the Department of Health to discuss the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill and the implications for independent shop owners. Issues discussed included the proposals for Structural Separation, minimum pricing and the fair treatment of independent shops that sell alcohol.

Campaigning to tackle the black market: RAS unveils its 2016 plans RGDATA is a corporate supporter of Retailers Against Smuggling. The RAS plans for 2016 are available on www. retailersagainstsmuggling.ie

RGDATA launches rounding survey RGDATA says the Central Bank needs to engage in further communications with the public to ensure that they understand rounding and its benefits and why the Central Bank introduced it.

Minister for Justice & Equality responds to RGDATA on measures to tackle retail crime Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald responds to RGDATA’s calls for a series of measures to tackle rising retail and rural crime.




Election 2016: RGDATA highlights points to raise with candidates RGDATA publishes a Six Point Election 2016 Manifesto for issues to raise with local candidates and canvassers.

Election 2016: RGDATA seeks support for fair treatment of local shops RGDATA contacts all the political parties to get commitments to support fair treatment of local independent shops. Issues raised include the unfair structural separation proposal in the Alcohol Bill 2015; the impact of unsustainable wage increases; need for investment in rural towns and villages, burden of red tape, cost of retail crime and insurance.

RGDATA in the News: Retail Crime Survey released The annual RGDATA crime survey shows a shocking 90% of shop owners are victims of retail crime in 2015.

RGDATA puts business costs and town centre regeneration on Retail Consultation Forum agenda for 2016 RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley tells the Retail Consultation Forum that independent shops continue to struggle due to legislative interventions that have added to the cost of running their businesses and employing staff. She called for Business Costs, Regulatory Burden and Town Centre Revival to top the Forum’s agenda in 2016. The Forum met in Dublin Castle on Thursday 4 February.

Carriage Charges: RGDATA meetings with EM News An RGDATA delegation had a number of meetings with EM News to discuss Carriage Service Charges. Issues raised included continuous price increases without consultation, the need for transparency relating to costs, how to address declining sales and improve communications with retailers. LOCAL HER


A study of the econom ic, financia social sign l and ifica grocery sec nce of the independen tor t retail

by Jim Powe r. January 2016 M.Econ.Sc.

Drive Profits and Save Money: Practical advice and networking for shop owners RGDATA announces a very practical advice and networking seminar to take place in the Radisson Hotel Galway on Tuesday 8 March. Top tips for shop owners on saving money; driving profits; clever rostering; energy savings and use of social media. RGDATA invites shop owners and managers from Co Galway and surrounding counties.

Low Pay Commission responds to RGDATA re consultation on youth wage rates. RGDATA highlights the benefits of having an affordable wage rate structure that allows local business owners to provide summer jobs for local students aged 16 – 18 years.







RGDATA highlights Value of Local Shops: Launch of Local Heroes II RGDATA is in the news highlighting the significant contribution that local independent shops make with the launch of the second report by Economist Jim Power “Local Heroes II – The Economic and Social Significance of Local Independent Shops”. The report publication gets national and local media coverage.

90,000 jobs and €3.5 billion to economy: positive media coverage highlights contribution of local shops Economist Jim Power features in national and local media this week with highlights from his new report for RGDATA.


National Cash Forum seeks views on issues for 2016 RGDATA is a member of the National Cash Forum which meets quarterly to discuss issues relating to Cash distribution, security and handling. RGDATA canvasses members about topics to be addressed in 2016.

January Election 2016: RGDATA seeks commitments from all parties to Support Vibrant Local Independent Shops An early announcement about Election 2016 is expected from Taoiseach Enda Kenny so RGDATA writes to all party leaders seeking their commitment to local independent shops.

Vibrant Town Centres: Retail Consultation Forum Sub Group RGDATA attends the first meeting of this group and Tara Buckley outlines the key issues that needed to be addressed to develop a Town Centre Management strategy and supports to assist local businesses and Local Authorities to regenerate Irish towns.

RGDATA makes its first report to the Lobbying Commission RGDATA outlines details of its lobbying activities since September 2015 to Lobbying.ie. The report includes details of RGDATA campaigns relating to retail crime; business costs; fair tax treatment for entrepreneurs and card payment fees for retailers in the last quarter of 2015.

Public Health (Alcohol) Bill: New proposals for Structural Separation RGDATA Analysis RGDATA seeks member views on the proposals for Structural Separation of alcohol products in mixed traders and other issues relating to the sale and display of alcohol set out in the Draft Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. RGDATA will meet with the Department of Health early in February to discuss the Bill.

Town Centre Revival: RGDATA highlights need for investment in national strategy

Zero Hour & Low Hour Contracts: RGDATA submission

RGDATA highlights the need for investment in Town Centre Management training and a national Town Centre Management strategy at a meeting of the Retail Consultation Forum sub group on Town Centre Revival held in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation on 19 January.

Flexible working contracts are essential for employers and employees in the independent retail sector, RGDATA argues in its submission to the Department of Enterprise & Jobs.

Carriage Charges: RGDATA Members meet with EM News

Low Pay Commission Consultation on youth wage rates “grossly deficient�: RGDATA

EM News is due to revert to RGDATA on a number of issues following a meeting between retailers and EM News at Rock House on 20 January. Issues raised included continuous price increases without consultation, the need for transparency relating to costs, how to address declining sales and improve communications with retailers. EM News commits to come back to RGDATA by mid-February with a response.

RGDATA calls for Low Pay Commission to produce research evidence on issues arising from Minimum Wage sub minima rates for young workers and the impact on education.






RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story

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90,000 JOBS

Food Innovat or


RGDATA members own and operate 3,500 shops, convenience stores and supermarkets all over Ireland. Collectively the independent convenience sector is the biggest retail sector employer providing 90,000 jobs and is out and out the best supporter of Ireland contributing €3.6 billion every year to the national economy.

Independent Retailers – Ireland’s Fresh Food Innovators and best supporters of local Irish PRODUCERS AND SUPPLIERS.

20 Bakers + 20 Kitchen Staff + Fresh Local Ingredients = Delighted Customers

A Passion for Quality & Excellence: Donnybrook Fair “At Donnybrook Fair, we pride ourselves in giving our customers that “little bit extra”. We are focused on bringing our customers the best quality food and service. Fresh food sourced from the best of local suppliers is prepared daily to deliver an extensive range of fresh homemade products to our customers. Whatever we don’t produce in-house is sourced with a real passion for quality and excellence.” Joe Doyle, Donnybrook Fair, Morehampton Rd. Donnybrook; Stillorgan; Baggot St; Grand Canal Square and Malahide Co. Dublin and Greystones, Co. Wicklow.

“Our in store bakery is one of the busiest and best you will get in any part of the country. We employ over 20 bakers who are here bright and early to make a wide range of cakes and breads from scratch so we have fresh supplies each day. Customers love the variety of breads we bake including our many healthy options such our oats & chia seeded cob and dinkle bread. Our best selling cakes and confectionery include mini bakewell tarts and our customer favourite, Red Velvet.

We also have our fantastic in-store kitchen with a further 20 staff, that make our supper pot range of ready to go cooked meals that are fully prepared in-store daily using fresh local ingredients. The variety and freshness make these meals very popular with our customers.  We offer weekly ‘specials’ and give great value in family meals.” Liam Ryan, Ryan’s SuperValu, Glanmire, Co Cork

RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story

Producing Great Tasting Gluten Free Products: Scally’s SuperValu Clonakilty Fresh food supremo Eugene Scally is one of the most enthusiastic retailers of fresh food in Ireland. Scally’s SuperValu store in Clonakilty, West Cork is a haven for cooks, foodies and anyone looking for fresh Irish produce.  “Our recent new investment in a gluten-free bakery shows Scally’s commitment to providing all our customers with the best possible range of quality products.  The ‘Clonakilty Gluten Free Cuisine’ range consists of a selection of almost 30 gluten-free products certified for coeliacs. As this range is prepared in a separate bakery and kitchen, coeliacs can be assured that the range is 100% gluten-free, with all products independently tested and certified. And they taste really good too!”  Eugene Scally, Scally’s SuperValu, Clonakilty, Co. Cork.

Unique Artisan Products: Pettitt’s Bakery in SuperValu Wexford “Our goal at Pettitt’s Bakery is to produce top quality fresh breads and cakes in-store daily. Our Bakery has a wide range of unique, artisan products including Head Baker Declan Dempsey’s famous Sourdough bread range. We endeavour to use as many locally produced ingredients as possible in our Bakery. We only use local Wexford jam in our doughnuts, local buttermilk in our breads, and local cream in our cakes.Our Bakery produces up to 30 different breads and 60 different confectionary products every day, so you’ll always be spoilt for choice.” Cormac Pettitt, Pettitt’s SuperValu, St. Aidan’s Shopping Centre, Wexford



RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story

Home baking proves a winner in Tipperary Town “It can be difficult to know in retail what to do to stand out from your competitors that gives you the edge to drive footfall. In December 2015 Spar Tipperary Town after a few years of difficult trading decided to embrace home baking and try taking it to a higher level. With a small investment and plenty of hard work it was an instant winner and was hugely accepted by our customers. Another concept in Tipperary town which has been an instant success in driving sales and margin is the Smooch ice cream and milk shake concept. The milkshakes account for 50% of ice-cream sales and is driven by the youth. What we have found is that the kids are bringing in the parents and not the other way round.” Tommy Byrne, Spar, Tipperary Town.

Longer opening hours suit busy customers in Ballycarnew “We are open for business from 7.30am to 9.30pm seven days a week and offer a full grocery line to our customers wine, beer, full deli, lottery agent and light hardware. We started in-store baking four months ago and it is going very well especially our brown bread and cakes. We also sell kerosene in 20 litre drums which helped to boost our winter business.” Pat & Phyllis Breen, Londis, Ballycarnew, Gorey, Co Wexford


RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story Best Supp o


o rs

Independent Shops: Genuinely the Best Supporters of Local Communities throughout Ireland

f Local Comm u nit ies

€41m The family owned independent convenience/grocery shops that to local RGDATA represent are out and out the best supporters of local charities communities in Ireland. The British and German multiples spend an awful lot on TV and newspaper advertising and PR campaigns to promote their sponsorships. The community retailers that RGDATA represent quietly go about getting involved in local causes and community initiatives and giving over �41 million to local charities, local sports teams and local groups.

Kelly’s Londis Milltown: Parachute Jump Raises e32,000 for Pieta House We are no strangers to taking risks whether that is in business or pleasure! I joined over 30 Londis retailers and staff in May 2016 to take part in a parachute jump in aid of Pieta House raising €32,000.

Joyce’s Centra, Clonmany: Serving the Community & Saving Lives at Sea

“In March 2016 we completed an extensive refurbishment at Kelly’s Londis Milltown transforming the store into a first class supermarket and forecourt. We wanted to enhance our customers’ shopping experience in our new easy-to-navigate store and to cater for all their daily shopping needs. We offer a wide range of products, including bakery, meats, fruit and veg, own brands and all at competitive prices. We extended the store by 1500 sq ft and added a relaxing sit down area which works really well for our new Bia Blás deli which offers customers the freshest choices in breads, creative sandwiches, wraps, scones, apple pie and pastries which are available each morning to help kick start the day and, of course, nothing beats the fresh smell of Seattle’s Best coffee in the morning. This is what customers have come to expect given the value that Londis places in the local community”. Seamus Kelly, Kelly’s Londis, Milltown, Co. Kerry.

“The local shop is at the heart of many communities in Ireland today. Joyce’s Centra in Clonmany is not only a place where people come to shop, for many it is also a main source of human contact. We encourage people to spend time in our store and chat to neighbours and staff. We are regularly asked to scan and email documents for customers who have children living abroad. It’s sad to have to do it but it’s all part of our service. The people of the locality, who have been supporting us through the years, have enabled us to become the store we are today. Being an integral part of the community is of utmost importance to us. We get involved in many local community and charity activities and I am proud to be a Lifeboat volunteer.” Joe Joyce, Joyce’s Centra, Clonmany, Co. Donegal.


RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story

Larkins’s Gala, Killaloe:

Supporting Tidy Towns; Local GAA and Camogie “Larkin’s is a local shop with local employees and are on first-name terms with our customers. We have a local supplier of delicious homemade jam.  We make our own home made brown bread and tarts and people travel for miles especially for them. We are heavily involved in the community, helping out with Tidy Towns in the local village and sponsoring events in our local GAA and Camogie Club.  We have a parcel delivery and collection service - parcels are delivered for collection from two courier companies, and people can drop off their return packages also.” Siobhan Larkin, Gala, Ballina, Killaloe, Co. Clare.

Passionate About Supporting Local Causes: Murphy’s Gala Kilanerin “We are a family run business for over 40 years and have a great team of local staff, some who are with us over 15 years. We provide a great range of home baking, baked fresh in store six days a week. We consistently provide a wide range of special offers. Our business isn’t only limited to grocery, we also have a large hardware department as well as solid and liquid fuels. We are passionate about supporting local causes and giving back to the community. We currently support charities and community groups such as The Tidy Towns, Our local Primary School, Community Development Association and the Local GAA. We have won the Gala Gold Standard Award in The Gala B.E.S.T Assessment for the past three years and we are hoping to get Gold again this year. Our aim is to provide a friendly, local service to all our new and longstanding customers. Without their support we would not be in business today.” Barbara Murphy, Gala, Kilanerin, Gorey, Co Wexford

RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story Loca l

Investing e1.8bn


n e ur s pre tre

Independent food retailers are nimble and agile local entrepreneurs. They constantly review their business and invest in changes and new innovations to stay ahead of the competition.

Famous for Marmalade Ham:

JJ O’Driscoll’s, Ballinlough Road, Cork ‘We are now third generation. Our father JJ O’Driscoll started the business in 1948, run now by myself, brother Neil and daughter Kiara, a qualified chef. Our kitchen is going seven days a week. Kiara has added to our heat-andeat product range and we cook most of our cooked meats (our marmalade ham is a winner!). We try to be different, from our Meat counter to our Deli, Fruit and Veg and wines - 60% of the wines that we sell are not available in other stores. We deal with small producers and distributers and our aim is to produce one new product a month that we can sell. In May we held a ‘Taste of Summer’ BBQ showcasing our own products and some of our small, local artisan producers which was a great success. Every Friday morning, we text our offers for the weekend. We have 1,550 customers signed up. We have linked up with gyms to email our healthy option product list and we have most of the Munster rugby team buying!” Brendan O’Driscoll, JJ O’Driscoll’s, Ballinlough Road, Cork

Award winning: Centra Store of the Year 2016: Ryan’s Ennis


Paul and Kay Ryan won this award which is given to a store that offers a true reflection of excellence across every retail aspect including range, quality, customer service, hygiene, service offering and local community involvement. “Retailers that are able to react quicker to changes in the market are the ones that will prosper. Our enhanced fresh offering which includes the Prepared in Store Range is proving very successful. In addition, winning at the Centra/Dillon’s Wine Store of the Year Awards has raised our profile locally and helped to grow the Off Licence significantly in the last year.” Paul & Kay Ryan, Ryan’s Centra, Ennis, Co. Clare


RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story

Turning Adversity into Opportunity: Topaz Spar Callan Road, Kilkenny “Following a small fire in the old store at the beginning of the year, it gave me an opportunity to revamp the shop. We revamped the shop to a one stop destination with an Off-Licence, Postbox, Bank Machine, Food-to-go, Groceries, Fuel and a Supermacs take out cooked to order. Health is now a major part of the decision-making process of customers, so it’s important we have things like a vegetarian option.  We bake fresh every day, have health drinks available, different fruit juices and delicious club sandwiches from the Spar Tasty Deli concept.” Philip Cross, Topaz Spar, Callan Road, Kilkenny.

One Stop Shop a hit with Customers: Mace Sligo Junction, Collooney, Co Sligo “Our food offer is first class with a big focus on fresh food with a full carvery, deli, salad bar available and combine this with our own fast food brand and there is something for everybody. Our new store layout has contributed to a significant increase in sales in all categories. We installed an ATM at the back of the premises and this has definitely proved to be a big footfall driver. We have great customer toilets which includes a high quality disabled toilet facility.” Trevor Kennedy, Area Manager, Mace Sligo Junction, Collooney, Co Sligo.

RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story

Atlantic Food Market Ballyliffin: Keeping up the ‘Mom & Pop Shop’ traditions in a very modern way “Variety is a key theme here in Atlantic Food Market in Ballyliffin, you can pick up everything from a litre of milk to an iPhone charger. Pop in for just a loaf of bread and you could find yourself arriving home with a gallon of white emulsion or a bag of cement. And we were doing this way before the German discounters arrived. The emphasis in our foodmarket is on fresh, locally sourced produce. From new Irish Pinks dug in a field less than one mile from our shelves, to Daniel Doherty’s fresh bread delivered daily. The German retailers refuse to carry these local products and this of course hurts local suppliers, and costs jobs and means less disposable income to be spent in our communities supporting local people and local business. The reality is that we can and do compete on a range of items, our €1.49 2litre milk for example is as competitive as any of the bigger stores. The difference is we’ll serve you with a smile, and a ‘How’s your mam keeping?’, and our customer service will make your trip an enjoyable experience.” Michael McLaughlin, Atlantic Stores Food Market, Ballyliffin, Co. Donegal.

Adding a Pharmacy to attract footfall: Spar Foodstore House & Garden, Sligo “A few years ago I realised that for my business to survive, I needed to increase footfall into my shop. After much consideration and planning I opened a pharmacy in October 2014, which is located at the back of my shop. I am delighted with the result as apart from the increased footfall, my customers have another option when coming to do their shopping and also as the pharmacy opens from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm they can avail of it on their way to and from work. The opening of the pharmacy compliments my whole business.” Ger Canning, Spar Foodstore House & Garden, Pearse Road, Sligo.



RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story

From Supermarket to State of the Art Service Station and Convenience Store: Louis Byrne SPAR Caherslee

“Due to a radical shift in our customers’ needs and a change in local traffic patterns, the larger supermarket model had outlived its effectiveness at this location. Turning to the adjoining previously derelict forecourt site and investing with Irish Oil company Top Oil and SPAR allowed us to create a state of the art service station & convenience store which matched the local shoppers requirements. The result has been a turnaround in profitability and a new focus on ‘Food on the go’, with fresh departments and coffee being key margin drivers. We now have a smaller shop floor but with a more spacious feel to it, reduced operating costs, but stronger sales and margins. Parking, access and the addition of fuel sales have all helped achieve this, along with our staff’s intimate knowledge of what our customers want. The feedback from customers has been hugely positive and local residents were delighted to see a derelict site resurrected in the area.” Louis Byrne, SPAR Caherslee, Tralee, Co Kerry

Cafe/Deli Extension Drives 7% Increase in Sales: Tobin’s Topaz Spar Express, Letterkenny “In October 2014 Tobin’s Service Station extended our cafe/deli seated area by 50%, from 62 seats to 93 seats. In the following 12 months we increased turnover in the deli by over 7% from a previous all time high in 2014. A lot of this is drive-in traffic which shows consumers are actively looking for a chance to get out of their cars to sit and eat.” Eddie Tobin, Tobin’s Topaz Spar Express, Port Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal

RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story B e ati n g h

e ar

Independent Family Owned Shops: The beating Heart of Irish Communities



Field’s SuperValu, Skibbereen: Getting things done by leading from the front.

sh Communit f Iri ies

4,000 Shops

Mitchell O’Connor opened the shared business centre which is powered by a one gigabit internet connection and Skibbereen made headlines for having the fastest broadband in the country.

Family owned shops have a genuine commitment to their local community that cannot be matched by the German or the British Multiples - no matter how much they spend on PR and advertising to convince us otherwise. A prime example of a dedicated entrepreneur with a hands-on approach to investing in his local community is John Field of Field’s SuperValu in the West Cork town of Skibbereen. Recognising that the town needed high speed broadband to attract new business start-ups, John donated a building he owned in the town for the visionary new Ludgate Hub. Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary

“I was delighted to donate the building where the Ludgate Hub was set up which brings highspeed internet to rural Ireland. I along with other prominent business people decided we wouldn’t wait around anymore for high-speed internet to come to us - instead we made it happen for ourselves.” John Field, Field’s SuperValu, Skibbereen, Co. Cork.

Smith’s of Kinsale: Creating In-Store theatre to keep customers engaged

“Here in Smith’s of Kinsale we go all out to bring the store to life for different occasions. Last Halloween we decorated the store with scarecrows and witches throughout the store. The feedback from customers was amazing and children were dragging their parents to come up and see the store. At Christmas we made all our own decorations with fresh Christmas tree branches hanging from the ceiling and elves and sledges dispersed throughout the shop. Immediately after Christmas we focused on health and fitness leading into Operation Transformation. The Euro’s were a great opportunity for us and we sported a flag for each of the twenty- four nations competing. “During the year we introduced a new health and wellness section. We partnered with a local gym and provided free advice to customers on diet, nutrition and exercise. Our sales in this area are showing considerable growth. There is always some occasion here at Smith’s of Kinsale.” Michael Smith, Smith’s SuperValu, Kinsale, Co. Cork.


RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story

Matthews of Clones: Always adapting the offer to deliver customer satisfaction and drive sales The McCaughey family, trading as ‘Matthews of Clones’ typify the ever nimble and agile town centre independent shop that is constantly updating it’s offer to stay relevant to customers. This landmark shop, located on The Diamond, right in the centre of Clones town has added new coffee facilities; a special discount section providing great value personal care and day to day household items and a well stocked stationary section to drive footfall and keep customers happy. Other innovations include an ice cream offering serving Angelito whipped ice cream, Maud’s scooped ice cream and a Slush Puppie machine.   “We work very hard to make sure we offer great value and a range of products that will keep customers shopping in the town centre. However, we need good Town Centre rejuvenation policies to help towns like ours to remain viable and vibrant.” Eugene McCaughey, Matthews of Clones, Co. Monaghan.

Fleming’s Monaghan Town: The Heart of Shopping in Monaghan Fleming’s SuperValu Monaghan is the town centre in this busy border county. Fleming’s operate a large supermarket and department store right in the centre of the town that is truly the heart of the community. Gordon Fleming believes that it is important to play a very active part in his local community. Gordon is dedicated to ensuring that Monaghan is a thriving border town. “Our company policy is, we cannot expect support locally if we don’t give support locally. This means to customers, staff and suppliers.” Gordon Fleming, Fleming’s SuperValu, Monaghan Town.

RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story

Providing good local jobs, in-store theatre and motivating staff Junction 14 Mayfield: Multi award winning store with a genuine focus on customer experience Gavin Moran, National Grocery Manager of the Year 2016 manages a flagship and a highly profitable store with 160 staff operating 24/7, 365 days a year, serving 5,000 customers each day. “I am extremely lucky to have a good management team around me. I see myself as a manager of managers. My task is to instill a sense of passion in my large team for what they do. I give them direction and help and I expect direction and help from them in return. Customer service has changed. The days of it being simply smiling and saying: ‘Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir’ that’s all gone. It’s about your own attitude now. It’s about coming in and saying: I want to be here, and I want to understand how my body language and behaviour affects a customer’s experience. I plan to keep training and encouraging my staff and serving Junction 14 Mayfield’s customers as best as I can.” Gavin Moran, Junction 14, M7 Motorway Service Area, Mayfield, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare.

Casey’s Foodstore and Filling Station Kanturk: Well Stocked with a Friendly Atmosphere “We have been running the family business for the past 35 years and have survived many recessions and the advent of the multiples. We would not have overcome this without good local customer support. We provide a wellstocked shop with a friendly atmosphere. We have a very steady business with a very dedicated, loyal staff to whom we pay tribute. Our staff are all from the local community and are included in the decision making. Three years ago we updated our forecourt to comply with the latest D.S.L. requirements and this investment has increased footfall. We are also members of the IPRA selling quality assured fuels. We are now at a stage in our lives that we would like to take a step back from our busy lives but we would like to see business continue.” Eileen Casey, Casey’s Foodstore and Filling Station, Johnsbridge, Kanturk, Cork.



RGDATA | Independent Retailers tell their story

Garvey’s SuperValu, Tralee: Investment of €2.2m in store revamp and creating jobs. “This renovation led to the creation of ten new jobs bringing the total number of staff employed in the store to 90. The team is delighted with the new store which is a real demonstration of our confidence in the local economy and a further commitment to go above and beyond to deliver on our shoppers’ needs. We have made a substantial investment to further underline our fresh food offering which SuperValu is renowned for and to bring great choice and value across the range. The store refurbishment has focused on extending and improving the store’s fresh food offering, catering to increasing consumer demand for local and healthy food.” Jim Garvey, Garvey’s SuperValu, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

Nature’s Options, Newbridge: Delivering a knowledgeable friendly service every day “When it comes to your health, a knowledgeable friendly service is key and the team at Nature’s Options are constantly focussed on making sure that this is the case. As a long established Healthfood business, Nature’s Options is a one stop shop for advice and alternative options to ensure the best of health for our customers. Since we opened in 1997 Nature’s Options has focussed on providing excellent customer service to our customers, the majority of whom we know by name. We cater for specialist diets such as gluten free, dairy free, wheat free and sugar free. The store is primarily a vegetarian shop but vegans are also catered for. The services of a nutritionist and an aromatherapist are also available and customers wishing to avail of these services can enquire in store. We place a lot of importance on having friendly staff who are fully trained and qualified to advise on customer’s dietary needs,” says Bernie Gaffney. Bernie Gaffney, Nature’s Options, Healthfood store, Moorefield Road, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.

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RGDATA | Leinster HOuse


A delegation of shop owners from all around the country attended Leinster House on Wednesday 5 October 2016 to take part in an RGDATA presentation to TDs and Senators hosted by Senator Paul Coughlan. The presentation took place in the AV Room in Leinster House and Tara Buckley introduced the delegation and gave a short presentation based on the RGDATA report Local Heroes; The Social & Economic Impacts of Local Family Owned shops.

TDs and Senators heard that the independent grocery retail sector provides 90,000 jobs in towns and villages throughout Ireland. Local family owned shops are the biggest and best supporters of local communities collectively investing â‚Ź41 million annually in local causes and sponsorships. Local independent shops are the heart of the local community and collectively pay over â‚Ź100 million in local municipal charges. RGDATA members told of the local jobs they provided and the contribution they made to their local community. RGDATA also highlighted some of the current policy areas and issues causing serious concern to local family shops including Shop Insurance Costs; the Public Health Alcohol Bill, business costs, Town Centre revitalisation and rural regeneration.

RGDATA | Leinster HOuse

“This was a great opportunity for independent retailers to get their message across to policymakers. They need to hear directly from us about the issues that are impacting on our ability to create and retain jobs and to continue to play such an important role in our local communities. Events like this show why it is so important to have a strong trade association and members that are prepared to make their voices heard,” Louis Byrne, Spar Oak Park, Tralee, Co. Kerry.

“I am an independent retailer in Castlebridge, Wexford. I am 47 years old and have worked in retail all my life. My store is a Centra. It is 4,800 square feet. We have 27 staff. I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend with other retailers at Leinster House.”

Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary, makes his point about the value of local shops

Louis Flanagan, Centra Castlebridge, Co Wexford.

Waterford TD John Curran says he is on Fianna Fail’s Housing Committee and he agrees that we need incentives to get people back living in town centres.

Michael Healy-Rae TD says independent shops are the beating heart of local communities and the Healy-Rae’s would support all of the issues RGDATA raised.

Louth TD Declan Breathnach pledged his support for RGDATA and said he would provide assistance in raising the issues.



RGDATA | Leinster HOuse “As a town centre retailer I was delighted to get the message across to TDs and Senators about the vital role that RGDATA members play at the heart of Ireland’s towns and villages. We made some serious points about need to fix the broken system for personal injury claims; investment in town centre regeneration and to scrap the unfair Structural Separation proposal in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.” Eamon Gavin, Centra, Main Street, Ballinagh, Co. Cavan.

Waterford TD Mary Butler, who’s family owned a shop, says she understands the issues for independent shops and will champion issues of concern to RGDATA members

Jackie Cahill TD, Fianna Fail Spokesperson on Food and Horticulture says local independent shops are vital for vibrant rural communities. “As a small retailer in Mountrath, Co Laois I have run a family business for almost 30 years. The Post Office is also located in my shop. I currently employ 23 people, both full-time and part-time from the local community. I am actively involved in many local organisations and support whatever events that are organised to help keep our small town alive. I came to Leinster House to highlight the ever increasing costs associated with running a small business including Commercial Rates, Wages, PRSI, Insurance, Bank Charges, Licences, Electricity, Shrinkage/Theft and Security Costs to mention but a few. These ever increasing costs are making it almost impossible to run a competitive business. I told TDs and Senators that I feel that the viability of many small businesses like mine is under serious threat due to numerous measures introduced by our legislators in recent years. I also raised my grave concerns about additional forthcoming proposals such as the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. I welcomed this opportunity to meet our policy makers and outline mine, and many other retailers’ concerns.” Ann Martyn, Centra Mountrath, Co. Laois.

As we go to press…

Sale of Alcohol/Structural Separation RGDATA’s campaign to have the onerous Structural Separation proposal, which would impact severely on members’ shops, removed from the Public Health Alcohol Bill is headline news across the media as we go to press. “Beer Curtains Bill fails to draw to a close” was the headline over Miriam Lord’s piece in The Irish Times on the Committee Stage of the Bill in Seanad Eireann where the strong opposition by Senators to the Structural Separation proposal in the Bill was noted. Following briefings from RGDATA and many individual shop owners about our very real concerns about the adverse impact of the Structural Separation proposal as currently outlined on local shops, 20 TDs and Senators spoke in favour of RGDATA’s position at the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Meeting.

“As we go to Press all the indications are that the Government will amend the Structural Separation proposal in the Bill to ensure it does not impact adversely on local family owned shops. This is a clear example of how community retailers working together with your dedicated representative association can make positive changes that impact directly on your business,” Tara Buckley Director General RGDATA. RGDATA will continue this campaign until the proposal is amended at Report Stage. The Bill will also have to go before the Dail – probably in an amended format – so members should keep in touch via the weekly ezine and the RGDATA newsflashes – to keep updated on the latest position. Thank you to all the members who are contacting their TDs and Senators to highlight their concerns about this proposal and to those who took part in media interviews.


Shop Insurance & Spurious Claims A key current campaign for RGDATA will address the serious concerns of members about the significant increases in shop insurance costs and payouts. RGDATA will be highlighting this issue over the coming months and members are urged to log onto www.rgdata.ie for campaign updates and to get involved. RGDATA is seeking changes to assist lower insurance premiums; address large payouts for spurious claims and tackle serial claimants. RGDATA launched the campaign in October to tackle issuing a letter to Minister of State at the Department of Finance Eoghan Murphy outlining the serious issue with shop insurance costs and seeking radical measures to tackle the broken system as a matter of urgency. As we go to press RGDATA has been informed that are concerns will be considered by the Government’s Special Task Force on Insurance Costs who will consider extending their review to include shop insurance costs. RGDATA has also sought to make a presentation to the Oireachtas Finance Committee which held hearings earlier this year on escalating car insurance costs. RGDATA also carried out media briefings on the issue and to date our concerns have featured in the retail trade magazines, national newspapers and Tara Buckley has been interviewed on several radio stations around the country on the issue.



RGDATA | Revitalising Ireland’s Towns


Vibrant town and village centres are a key issue for independent shop owners so RGDATA has invested a lot of time ensuring sustainable retail development and campaigning for a National Town Centre Management Strategy with a key focus on revitalising Ireland’s towns. The campaign took a major step forward in 2016. RGDATA’s campaign for a National Town Centre Management Programme and Town Centre Health Checks took a very positive step on September 29 when the first “Revitalising Ireland’s Towns” workshop took place in Naas Town Hall, Co Kildare. Over 70 delegates including experts in town planning, representatives from local authorities and local traders from ten pilot towns attended the workshop to learn how to carry out a Town Centre Health Check and how to develop a Town Plan.

“This event is the result of major collaboration between many groups and expert bodies. It was led by myself and Alison Harvey from the Heritage Council. Many others enthusiastically joined us when they understood what we were trying to do. We believed that it was vitally important that the revitalisation of Ireland’s towns and villages was approached in a strategic, collaborative way and we worked together to engage all the experts and the stakeholders and get them involved,” says Tara Buckley.

RGDATA | Revitalising Ireland’s Towns The Revitalising Ireland’s Towns Pilot Training Workshop took place in Naas Town Hall on Thursday 29 September. There were presentations from experts including Martin Colreavy, Principal Advisor Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Paul Keogh RIAI; Richard Butler ILI; Leigh Brown; Town Centre Manager, Scotland; Richard Guiney CEO Dublin Town, Terry Sheridan, Principal Officer, Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government; Aoife Corcoran & Philip Crowe; Reusing Dublin. During the morning sessions the delegates learned about what shapes a town; the changing socio economic context of towns in contemporary Ireland; understanding townscape and streetscape; urban landscaping; green infrastructure, character and distinctiveness; cultural identity; sense of place and collaborative placemaking. There were group sessions on identifying Key Strengths and Weaknesses in the pilot towns.

The second morning session included presentations from a Scottish Town Centre Manager and recent consumer research about staying relevant in a changing world. Terry Sheridan gave a presentation on the statutory instruments available to deal with vacancy and there was a practical demonstration about the use of GIS and mapping systems. In the afternoon the delegates undertook a site visit around Naas to understand form and fabric of a town; streetscape and land uses/mix, public realm, transport, green infrastructure, retail, social and cultural mix and evening economy. The delegates were set the task of establishing a Town Team and carrying out a Town Centre Health check with the assistance of expert mentors and local academic institutions who would provide students to do the surveys and mapping. Stage two of the pilot involves a second workshop when the representatives from the ten towns gather together to review their Town Centre Health Check data and develop a Town Plan based on the findings.

“A crucial part of this day was about establishing a collaborative partnership between all the players to develop a Town Centre Management structure that could be adopted throughout Ireland,” says Tara Buckley, Director General RGDATA.

“Another goal from this pilot is to engage with all the partners to devise a funding programme for a National Town Centre Management strategy and funding for other Towns to carry out Town Centre Health Checks and develop collaborative Town Plans,” Tara Buckley explains. “An RGDATA delegation will meet with Minister Heather Humphreys in November to raise this important issue.”



RGDATA | Planning

Retail Planning Activity RGDATA is unique as the only trade association that monitors and intervenes in retail planning proposals.

PLANNING ACTIVITY 2016 September RGDATA OBSERVES ON APPEAL TO AN BORD PLEANÁLA AGAINST THE REFUSAL OF MIXED DEVELOPMENT AT FORMER KIELY’S PUB SITE MOUNT MERRION CO DUBLIN Tomose Ltd appeals Dun Laoghaire Rathdown’s decision to refuse permission for the proposed mixed development at the former Kiely’s pub site in Mount Merrion, Co Dublin. RGDATA submits observation on this appeal. Decision date 15 December, 2016

August AN BORD PLEANÁLA UPHOLDS RGDATA OBJECTION TO LIDL APPLICATION TO REBUILD EXISTING STORE IN ENNISCORTHY, CO WEXFORD An Bord Pleanála refuses permission for Lidl to demolish its existing store and construct a “new concept Lidl Discount Foodstore” at Bellefield Road, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. The Board upheld the argument made by RGDATA that the proposed development would constitute a significant intensification of retail provision in the area to a degree that would be contrary to the neighbourhood centre zoning objective of the area. RGDATA argued that Neighbourhood centres are supposed to serve the local community and should not be overdeveloped as this will impact on the vitality and viability of the local towns/town centre.

Highlights 2016 • In 2016 RGDATA and the Heritage Council have developed a Town Centre Health Check pilot that is being adopted by the Government as part of its commitment to Rural Development and Town & Village renewal. • RGDATA is one of the key stakeholders being consulted by the Department of the Environment as it prepares the new National Planning Framework – the strategy for all planning policy for the next 20 years.

WICKLOW COUNTY COUNCIL GRANTS PERMISSION TO LIDL TO DEMOLISH EXISTING STORE & CONSTRUCT NEW TWO STOREY DISCOUNT FOODSTORE Planning permission is granted to Lidl Ireland to demolish existing foodstore at Blacklion Centre, Greystones, Co Wicklow and to construct a new mono two storey Discount Foodstore of 2,752 sqm gross. RGDATA appeals this decision to An Bord Pleanála and decision date is 22 December, 2016. KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL SEEKS FURTHER INFORMATION ON PROPOSED ALDI DEVELOPMENT IN GRAIGUENAMANAGH, CO KILKENNY Aldi has been asked to submit further information on the proposal to construct a Discount Foodstore in Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny (Ref: No: 16/369).The applicant has six months to reply to this request.

July RGDATA OBJECTS TO ALDI PROPOSED IN GRAIGUENAMANAGH, CO KILKENNY Aldi lodges application for a single storey Discount Foodstore of 1,608 sqm gross with provision for 95 car spaces on the former ‘Cullen Steel Site’ situated to the west of Upper Main Street (R703) and south east of the Graiguenamanagh Outer Relief Road (R705), Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny. RGDATA objects as the subject site is identified within the Graiguenamanagh LAP as a key opportunity site for redevelopment within the town. RGDATA argues that the Aldi proposal will be a one stop shop, the site will be under utilised and will result in a loss of potential for the town centre (Planning Ref: No: 16/369 - ongoing).

“I check the planning update that RGDATA sends every week in their Ezine, which informs me on any planning issues regarding new applications or proposed variations of the County Development Plans or Local Area Plans. I realise how important it is to know future development plans for my area” Gordon Fleming, Supervalu, Church Square, Monaghan

• RGDATA gives expert advice to members in dealing with a planning proposal • We provide practical advice and assistance with planning queries from applying for an extension to applications for large out of town developments.

RGDATA | Planning

• RGDATA supports sustainable retail planning and is the only trade association that consistently seeks to ensure compliance with the Retail Planning Guidelines in the interest of vibrant and healthy town centres.


PERMISSION REFUSED FOR MIXED DEVELOPMENT AT FORMER KIELYS PUB SITE MOUNT MERRION CO DUBLIN Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council refuses planning permission for the proposed mixed development at the former Kiely’s pub site in Mount Merrion, Co Dublin, listing the following reasons: • By reason of scale, siting, layout, bulk and height, would not comprise an appropriate design response and would relate poorly to its receiving environment • Would seriously detract from the area in terms of visual amenity • Would seriously injure the amenity of property in the vicinity and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. FURTHER INFORMATION LODGED ON LIDL REBUILD GREYSTONES, CO WICKLOW Lidl submits requested information on its proposed two storey Discount Foodstore at Blacklion Centre, Blacklion, Coolagad, Greystones, Co Wicklow (Ongoing).


“RGDATA offers sound advice on the whole planning procedure from the planning application stage, dealing with deadlines to the lodging of an objection. I appreciate all the help and support Carmel gave me when dealing with a retail proposal in my neighbourhood” Damien Kieran, SuperValu, 27 The Rise, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin

• RGDATA is actively seeking policy changes to help regenerate Irelands town and village centres and to encourage people to come to work and live in the town centre.

Tomose Ltd applies for planning permission for the demolition of the existing four storey building containing the pub and restaurant / café on the site of the former Kiely’s Public House, Deerpark Road, North Avenue and Wilson Road, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin and to construct a four to five storey mixed use development with a retail unit of 1,300 sqm, café, restaurant, pub and residential units. (Planning Ref: No: D16A/0370) RGDATA submits observation outlining concerns that although the zoning objective covering the proposed site is ‘NC’ Neighbourhood Centre, the size and format of the proposed development will create a counter attraction to already existing businesses in the catchment areas and not reflect what a true Neighbourhood Centre is.

May RGDATA APPEALS WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL’S DECISION TO GRANT LIDL ENNISCORTHY RGDATA lodges appeal with An Bord Pleanála against the decision of Wexford County Council to grant planning permission to Lidl Ireland to construct a new concept discount foodstore at their existing site in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. RGDATA OBSERVES ON THIRD PARTY APPEAL TO AN BORD PLEANÁLA ON LIDL, CARRICK ON SHANNON CO LEITRIM RGDATA submits an observation to An Bord Pleanála against a grant of decision by Leitrim County Council for the construction of a two storey discount foodstore of 2,893 sqm gross, in the townlands of Attifinlay / Attyrory, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim (Planning Ref: No: 15/208 & An Bord Pleanála Ref: No: PL.12.246575). RGDATA highlights concerns about the impact on the Town Centre and the need for a full Town Centre Health Check to be undertaken. No decision on date available. RGDATA OBJECTS TO AN ALDI LAYTOWN, CO MEATH APPLICATION An application is lodged with Meath County Council to demolish the existing building and construct a single storey discount foodstore of 1,729 sqm gross with provision for 104 car spaces at Strand Road, Laytown, Co Meath (Planning Ref: No: lb 160330).

“I recently had cause to ring RGDATA regarding a planning application in my area and I got excellent advice in lodging an objection. I now realise how invaluable this service is to RGDATA members and am reassured to know they are only a phone call away” Patrick Boshell, Centra Supermarket, The Square, Bettystown, Co Meath

RGDATA objects regarding the location of this coastal site which would be out of character with the area and suggests that further investigation be made to find an alternative site within the retail centre of the village. Further information has been requested on this application (ongoing). ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUESTED ALDI MONAGHAN TOWN Monaghan County Council seeks further information on the application by Aldi to construct a Discount Foodstore in Monaghan Town. The applicant has six months to reply.




RGDATA lodges appeal to An Bord Pleanála against the decision of Wexford County Council to demolish an existing Lidl store and rebuild a “new concept Discount Foodstore” in Enniscorthy. RGDATA gives the following reasons:

Kilkenny Local Authority issue a request for additional information on the proposed Lidl Concept Store, Johnswell, Kilkenny. The applicant has six months to reply (ongoing).

• the proposal is in conflict with the zoning and specific objectives of the development plan


• the proposal would endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard and interference with the free-flow of traffic in the area • the development would not be in the best interests of the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. Decision due 5 September, 2016.

April RGDATA OBJECTS TO AN ALDI IN MONAGHAN TOWN An application is submitted by Aldi to Monaghan County Council for the construction of a single storey discount foodstore of 1,814 sqm gross with 83 car spaces, at Macartan Road / Glen Road, Monaghan Town. RGDATA objects and calls for a full Town Centre Health Check to be carried out and a Town Strategy is developed before any new development is approved. (Planning Ref: No: 16/89). LOCAL AUTHORITY GRANTS LIDL IN ENNISCORTHY, CO WEXFORD Wexford County Council grants permission to Lidl for a proposed concept store at Bellfield Road, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford subject to eight conditions. FURTHER INFORMATION IS SOUGHT FOR LIDL GREYSTONES, CO WICKLOW Wicklow County Council seeks further information on the proposed Lidl rebuild in Greystones, Co Wicklow, requiring revised car parking plans, landscape design plan and information on future cycle lanes and bus lanes. Applicant has six months to reply.

March NEW LIDL APPLICATION IN GREYSTONES, CO WICKLOW An application is lodged to Wicklow County Council for the demolition of the existing Lidl Store and for the construction of a two storey Discount Foodstore of 2,752 sqm gross with 181 car spaces at the Blacklion Centre, Blacklion, Coolagad, Greystones, Co Wicklow. RGDATA raises concerns about the impact of the proposed doubling of retail floorspace on the town centre. (Planning Ref: No: 16/177)


Lidl seeks to demolish existing store at Johnswell, Kilkenny and apply for the construction of a two storey mono-pitch licensed Discount Foodstore of 2,752 sqm gross with 129 car spaces (Planning Ref: No: 16/39). RGDATA objects stating reasons as distance from town centre and urges reuse of already vacant sites in the town centre. WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL SEEKS FURTHER INFORMATION ON LIDL APPLICATION IN ENNISCORTHY Wexford County Council requests further information from Lidl regarding their application for a new concept store in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, to submit revisions to the proposed car park layout and landscaping.

January ALDI APPLICATION IN ARDEE REFUSED BY AN BORD PLEANÁLA An Bord Pleanála overturns Louth County Council’s decision to grant an Aldi Discount Foodstore at Cappocksgreen, Ardee, Co Louth, and refuses planning permission because of the proposed site’s proximity to the N2 and the M1 motorway, the additional traffic generated would interfere with the safety and free flow of traffic on the national road network, the scale and location outside of the town would impact on the vitality and vibrancy of Ardee Town Centre and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. An Bord Pleanála uphold all issues raised by RGDATA. (Planning Ref: No: 15/149 ----- An Bord Pleanála Ref: No: 245481) LIDL APPLY FOR NEW CONCEPT STORE ON EXISTING SITE IN ENNISCORTHY, CO WEXFORD Lidl Ireland applies to demolish their existing store at Bellfield Road, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford and to replace it with a new concept Lidl Discount Foodstore of 2,774 sqm gross with provision for 129 car spaces. RGDATA objects on grounds of increased retail floor space on a site designated as neighbourhood centre and the complete lack of synergy with the town centre. (Planning Ref: No: 20151220)

DEVELOPMENT PLANS, LOCAL AREA PLANS & SUBMISSIONS RGDATA continues to monitor the ongoing reviews of Local Area Plans and County Development plans and informs members of submission deadlines so their voices can be heard. RGDATA encourages member engagement in their local planning strategy as Local Authorities want to hear the views of the public and business owners about the concerns and changes they would like to see in their local area. Members in the following areas were alerted to planning reviews: Sligo Gorey Callan

Cork Galway Monaghan Ballybofey Stranorlar Ballyshannon Bridgend


Donegal Town

Dungloe Killybegs Wicklow Skibbereen

Fingal Area

Galway City

Waterford City

Meath County



Kildare County

RGDATA makes submissions on the following Draft Plans: • Pre-draft of Gorey & Environs Local Area Plan 2016-2022 • Stage 2 of the draft Fingal County Development Plan 2017-2022 • Proposed alterations to the draft Monksland / Bellanamullia Local Area Plan 2016-2022 • Draft Kildare County Development Plan 2017-2022 In general RGDATA planning submissions make reference to: • Recommendations on maintenance of vibrant town and village centres • Commitment to an annual Town Centre Health Check • Prioritise reuse of vacant town centre buildings • Direct all new investment to the town centre • Look at restrictive car parking regimes • Work with the Heritage Council to conserve heritage buildings and bring them back into useful purposes so assist town centre vibrancy. • Regularly review retail mix and ensure that a balance is maintained. RGDATA is the only trade association providing a strong, active voice seeking strategic retail development that is in the best interests of vibrant towns and villages, a good retail mix and shops people can walk to. Your support is vital to help us to continue this important work.

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Representing You RGDATA sits on many groups and bodies to make sure that your voice and your concerns are to the fore when policy and regulation is being considered. These include:

Forum Sub-Group on Town Centre Revival Tara Buckley is a member of this sub group of the Retail Consultation Forum which is looking at what needs to be done to rejuvenate Ireland’s town and village centres. RGDATA made a presentation to the group on Town Centre Health Checks in 2016 and received unanimous support for a National Town Centre Health Checks pilot.

Retail Consultation Forum RGDATA President Colin Fee and Director General Tara Buckley are members of this body established by the Government to ensure that Ireland’s largest employer – the retail sector – has a voice in the development of policy. Issues currently being addressed by the Forum include; town centre revival; energy costs for the retail sector; training and apprenticeships for the retail sector and what Budget 2017 should deliver for the retail sector.

Local Jobs Alliance RGDATA established the Local Jobs Alliance in 2014 to bring together representatives of all small businesses representing retail, services and hospitality in Irish towns and villages. The Local Jobs Alliance meets periodically to make joined submissions on issues such as local jobs; wage rates; business costs and rural redevelopment.

National Oversight & Audit Commission RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley is a member of the National Oversight and Audit Commission which oversees the operation of Ireland’s local authorities to ensure they provide value for money and deliver services using best practices and with a focus on customer satisfaction. Further information on NOAC and its activities is available at www.noac.ie.


National Cash Forum RGDATA represents the interests of independent retailers on the Central Bank’s National Cash Forum. This group is comprised of representatives from financial institutions, cash in transit companies and the Central Bank. RGDATA sits on this group to monitor any proposals about changes to the way cash is distributed in Ireland and to monitor any potential negative financial or security implications these changes could have on independent retailers. In 2016 RGDATA conducted a survey for the Central Bank on Rounding to assist the Central Bank with their communications and implementation campaigns.

Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) RGDATA is a corporate supporter of Retailers Against Smuggling and actively engages in its campaigns to highlight the impact of smuggling and counterfeit goods on independent retailers. This includes tobacco, fuel and illicit goods.

National Waste Management Forum This group meets quarterly to address issues relating to Ireland’s waste management policy and the collection and recycling of waste.

High Level Group on Better regulation Sub Group on Food Business Regulation RGDATA attended a number of meetings with the Business Regulation Unit of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation on the issue of simplifying administrative burdens arising from regulation. In 2016 RGDATA was to the fore in seeking clarification of legislation and consistency of inspections together with issues in relation to communication of legislation to the consumer and to shop owners.

IBEC Retail Forum RGDATA is a member of IBEC and attends all meetings relating to the retail sector, SMEs and Government policy.

RGDATA Expert Advice: Recruitment – Take the time to get it right Recruiting the right candidate for your team will help set your store apart, says HR Consultant TOMMY SMYTH. Here are Tommy’s top tips on how to make sure you your recrutiment policy delivers the optimum results. The grocery sector remains ultra competitive so the team you employ to serve your customer and run your store will set you apart. Obviously you want to be set apart in a positive way and offer customers the service experience that differentiates your store from the competition. Training and culture will all play a part in educating and managing a team but in a busy retail environment, the recruitment and interview process is often one which is rushed and taken for granted. If you dedicate slightly more time to recruiting the right candidates, you increase your chances of having an effective team to service your customers and you save time and money managing underperformers later. Notes and tips; • Where to advertise? Are you reaching the right target audience for the role you are trying to fill? Consider local papers, onpremises advertising, local FÁS office and best of all consider word of mouth. Ask your current star employees, business contacts, family and friends do they know of anyone suitable. • Once the recruitment process begins, are you prepared? Do you know what you want to get out of the new recruit? What are the skills and traits you value in a candidate? What are the technical requirements of the role? Avoid walk in conversation ‘interviews’ on the shop floor where everything is informal and rushed.

• Ensure the Interviewer(s) has the training and skills to manage the interview process professionally. Remember recruitment is a 2-way street and you need to ensure that the best candidates are also attracted to work for you! • Scrutinise the candidates CV. Probe it for gaps. Test all aspects of the CV including personal hobbies or interests. For example, if a person likes reading, ask them what book they are currently reading. • Ensure you check references in advance of making a formal offer of employment. If this is not possible, ensure that any offer made is strictly subject to satisfactory references being provided. • Keep all information relating to the recruitment on file. This includes adverts, CVs, application forms and interview notes for the successful candidate. You may need to refer to it if they are not working out. • You should also retain the information for unsuccessful candidates in case they wish to query why they were unsuccessful. • Once the new recruit has joined the team prepare their induction, contract, handbook, and training as required. Actively manage any probation period to ensure that the decision you made was the correct one and they are indeed adding value to the role and your business. Tom Smyth & Associates, 61 St. Mary’s Rd, Midleton, Co.Cork. Ph 021 4634154



RGDATA | Campaigns

Rgdata Campaigns RGDATA is the only trade association dedicated to the specific interests of grocery/convenience shops and provides the most articulate voice for independent family owned retailers. Over the past year RGDATA campaigning and lobbying activities have focused on the following: Tara Buckley tells Today FM with Matt Cooper why Data Protection Laws need to be changed.

“Things have gone too far in favour of the criminals. Honest, decent shop owners who are trying to defend their business and their staff from these gangs that go from town to town robbing shops should be allowed to share CCTV footage of people stealing in their stores”

“Retailers shocked by 6% hike in carriage charges by EM News” ShelfLife Tweet:

“RGDATA brings Local Heroes Report to Brussels” Checkout Ireland Tweet:

RGDATA | Campaigns

Contribution of Local Shops RGDATA published Local Heroes II in early 2016 to highlight the significant contribution made by local shops to local economies and to the national exchequer. The results of an extensive survey of RGDATA members carried out in 2015 were assessed by economist Jim Power and the report publication was covered in local and national media. It highlighted the significant jobs created by local independent shops and the huge contribution that local independent shops make to communities all over Ireland.

Wage Rates and Jobs in Independent Shops RGDATA met with Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to highlight independent retailers’ concerns about wage expectations arising from unsustainable increases in the Minimum Wage. The Minister said the Programme for Government commits that the Minimum Wage will rise to €10.50 over the projected five year period in office and that she had insisted on this as a result of listening to the arguments made by small business representative organisations like RGDATA.

Shoplifting and Retail Crime

Banking Costs & Services

RGDATA’s 2016 Retail Crime Survey revealed that 90% of shop owners were victims of retail crime. RGDATA highlighted this significant issue for independent shops by making representations Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald TD and other TDs. The Minister responded by investing more resources in tackling rural crime. RGDATA also made representations to all political parties regarding tackling retail crime prior to Election 2016.

RGDATA held meetings with senior officials from all the major banks to outline the issues members reported in our Banking Services survey 2016. RGDATA also organised round table meetings with retailers and some of the banks to discuss concerns about banking services, relationship management, cost of lodging cash and access to credit.

Sale of Alcohol/ Structural Separation RGDATA has urged new Health Minister Simon Harris not to introduce the Sale of Alcohol Bill 2015 back into the Houses of the Oireachtas in its current format. RGDATA has highlighted the concerns of community shop owners regarding structural separation and the difficulties it poses for their businesses. In particular, the Bill has created significant concern and unease among shops owners who believe that it has the real potential to distort the market for alcohol sales towards large format retailers who either specialise in the sale of alcohol products or who are involved in a mixed trade but on a larger scale.

Such stores are the antithesis of independent stores, where the owner of the shop is personally and directly involved in the operation and management of the store and who as a stakeholder in the local community has a strong desire to maintain a responsible attitude to the sale of alcohol. RGDATA has consistently urged members to support this campaign at a local level by informing TDs about the damaging impact that structural separation will have on local independent shops. This is an active, ongoing campaign.



RGDATA | Campaigns

Shop Insurance & Spurious Claims A key current campaign for RGDATA will address the serious concerns of members about the significant increases in shop insurance costs and payouts. RGDATA will be highlighting this issue over the coming months and members are urged to log onto www. rgdata.ie for campaign updates and to get involved. RGDATA is seeking changes to assist lower insurance premiums; address large payouts for spurious claims and tackle serial claimants.

Payment Services Low margins for payment services continue to be an issue for many shop owners. RGDATA continues to make representations to industry, government and regulators about this issue. RGDATA had success in Budget 2016 with the Minister For Finance responding to our submission with regard to lower Interchange Fees.

Food Labelling A sub-group on Food Labelling was set up this year by the Business Regulation Unit of the Department of Jobs Enterprise & Innovation. RGDATA was invited to be a member of this group which addressed issues in relation to food labelling regulation and current practice. The group established some clarity on what the problems were, who was responsible and what could/should be done and by whom. DJEI then approached responsible departments and agencies to alert them to the problems. This work is ongoing.

Carriage Charges RGDATA held a number of meetings in 2016 with EM News Distribution including one meeting with shop owners who raised a number of issues including continuous price increases without consultation, the need for transparency relating to costs and how to address declining sales and improve communications with retailers. RGDATA will continue to monitor closely this category for shop owners.

Black Market/ Counterfeit Goods Fake and counterfeit products have a very serious impact on legitimate retailers who pay their taxes and provide important local jobs in towns and villages all over the country. RGDATA made representation on tackling the black market and counterfeit goods in our Budget 2016 submission, via the Retail Consultation Forum and directly to political parties in our Election 2016 Six Point Manifesto.

RGDATA | 24/7 Members’ Advice


RGDATA 24/7 Members’ Advice In the past twelve months the RGDATA Helpline (9 – 5pm Monday – Friday) received over 700 calls and our experts assisted members with a wide range of queries ranging from HR and staff issues to health and safety and security. Members seeking assistance outside office hours accessed our excellent 24/7 Members’ Only Website – specially designed and easy to navigate so you can find the answer you are looking for at the click of a mouse. Our top download for the year was our Contract of Employment with our Sick Leave policy coming in a close second. Last year over 200 members logged in looking for advice and downloads. – if you were not one of them, call 01-2887584 for your password.

Christmas holiday rostering You need to discuss holiday arrangements for the Christmas period well in advance. Review your Annual Leave and Sick Leave policies and update them if necessary. Make it clear if there are specific times when annual leave will not be possible and that travel arrangements should not be made until leave requests are confirmed. There are sample policies and helpful hints in the RGDATA 24/7 members’ advice area www.rgdata.ie/memb Both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Sunday this year. This does not mean that the next weekday is also public holiday. The day on which the holiday falls is the Public Holiday. Therefore, the 25th and the 1st are the days which should be referred to when working out employees’ entitlements. Employees who normally work on the day the public holiday falls are entitled to ONE of the following:


• A paid day off on the public holiday or • A paid day off within a month or • An extra day’s annual leave or • A day’s pay Employees who do not normally work on the day the public holiday falls are entitled to one fifth of their normal weekly rate. For more information, go to RGDATA 24/7 Members’ Advice area on www.rgdata.ie/memb

Current Wage Rates From 1 January 2016 the statutory minimum wage increased to €9.15 from €8.65 per hour. Please refer to the table below:

From 1 January 2017 the statutory minimum wage will increase to €9.25 from €9.15 per hour. Please refer to the table below:

Minimum Hourly Rate % of Minimum of Pay Wage

Minimum Hourly Rate % of Minimum of Pay Wage

Aged Under 18



Aged Under 18



First year from date of first employment aged over 18



First year from date of first employment aged over 18



Second year from date of first employment aged over 18



Second year from date of first employment aged over 18



Experienced Adult Worker



Experienced Adult Worker




RGDATA | 24/7 Members’ Advice

Rest Breaks Our members often ask what rest breaks employees are entitled to. The rules around the 15-minute break are particularly confusing. Every employee has a general entitlement to: • 11 hours daily rest per 24-hour period • One period of 24-hours rest per week, preceded by a daily rest period (11 hours) • Employees cannot work for more than four and a half hours without a rest break of 15 minutes; 30 minutes where more than 6 hours have been worked - which may include the first break. • If employees work more than 6 hours and these hours include working between 11.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m., a break of one hour is allowed which must commence between 11.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. (provided this does not result in the break occurring at the end of the working day). • All employers are obliged to include details of the above rest periods in their contracts/conditions of employment.

Sunday Premium entitlements There is no set required rate of pay or compensation for Sunday work in the Organisation of Working Time Act. However, any employee who is required to work on a Sunday, must be compensated by:

• the payment of a reasonable allowance; or • a reasonable pay increase; or • granting reasonable paid time off work; or • a combination of two of more of the above. The Act is clear that compensation must be in the form of pay, paid time off work or a combination of these. Benefit in kind, such as free meals is not acceptable. The employer must have regard for all of the circumstances in determining what is reasonable. If the Sunday premium is included within the total remuneration package this should be explicitly outlined in the contract of employment and ideally, it should be evident which amount is basic and which is premium.

“I find it great to know help and advice are only a phone call away, especially when you need a quick solution to a problem. Knowing the law is not enough at times and it is a great help to talk through the problem with Carmel or Sheila,” Sean McGuirk, Centra, Blackcastle Shopping Centre, Navan, Co Meath.

Employer obligations relating to pregnant employeess Once the employer becomes aware that an employee is pregnant, a specific risk assessment must be made to ensure that she is not exposed to anything which would damage her health or that of her developing child. Where a risk is identified, the employer is required to either remove the risk or transfer the employee to other suitable work. Employers are obliged to inform employees of the results of the risk assessment and the measures to be taken concerning the employee’s health and safety. If it is not feasible to adjust the employee’s working conditions or working hours, then Health and Safety Leave must be given. Full details on RGDATA 24/7 Members’ Advice area on www.rgdata.ie/memb

“I am very glad to be a member of RGDATA as I have had reason to ring the helpline on several occasions in the last year. It is good to know I will get a solution to my problem promptly and professionally and even have a friendly chat,” O’Donovan’s Centra, Enniskeane, Co Cork

“We find RGDATA very helpful to us. They are very pleasant to deal with. We have been to a few of the conferences in the past and found them very informative. They keep us updated with regular emails and we hope to continue to work closely with them in the future”. Conor and Catherine Sherry, Maxol Maynooth, Sallins Road, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.

RGDATA 24/7 Members’ Advice – What’s available and how to access it: Go to www.rgdata.ie/memb for:

• Latest News • HR Centre • Expert Advice • Online Alcohol Training • Planning • Affinity Deals • Members’ Tips • Downloads To access the Member’s Only Website: Username: Your email address If you don’t have a password click on ‘forgot password’ or call us on 01-2834188

RGDATA | Social Media for Community Retailers


Rgdata Next Generation Workshops:

Promoting Best Practice In Community Retailing The RGDATA Next Generation Workshop 2016 focussed on Social Media for Community Retailers. This was a specially tailored workshop followed up by a series of webinars to bring local community retailers up to speed on all aspects of social media. The workshop was a great success and inspired members who attended to consider using Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram to connect with their customers…. and remain at the heart of their local community, in a very relevant way.

5 Tips For Community Retailers To Win At Social Media It’s never too late to jump in and join the party! Social media is still relatively new, and is ever evolving so there’s always something new to learn and leverage from. Now is as good a time as any to dive in, and get started. Here are Maryrose Lyons of Brightspark Consulting’s top five tips for RGDATA members as we enter 2017.

1. Limit Your Platforms With such an abundance of social media platforms out there, it can be tempting to gain a foothold in them all. DON’T! Not only will it waste time, money and resources - you won’t even be getting the right kind of results if you’re posting the same kind of content across every single one. Choose the social media platforms where your customers are likely to hang out. Do them and only them well.

2. Video, Video, Video Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg predicted that in five years, 80% of all content on Facebook will be video. This is a trend not to be overlooked. Now’s the time to get comfortable making videos on your phone, and start using live streaming tools such as Facebook Live, Snapchat, or Instagram Stories. (Again, you don’t have to do them all. Just choose one and do it well.) Video is a great opportunity to showcase the people behind your business, to lovingly display your products in their best light, and to share behind-the-scenes stories that your customers will love.

3. Advertising Social media platforms, notably Facebook, are mostly pay to play now. Organic reach, which is how many people see your content that you haven’t put ad spend on, is around 1%. This means that 99% of people aren’t going to see your stuff, unless you put ad spend on it. The good news is that you can get great results from as little as €10. And with so many targeting options, you can use social ads to reach new local audiences, and to make your presence known by the very people you want to engage with in your area.

4. Talk To Them Increasingly you’ll find that your customers are on social, so you need to be on social too. But you can’t have them talking to dead air. You need to respond to your fans or followers on Facebook or Twitter. Why? Because your customers expect you to be there. Be ready to answer questions, or address complaints or other issues. It’s worth it: 75% of people will share when they’ve had good online customer service.

5. Test Everything & Mix It Up Social media is constantly changing. You need to keep an eye on new developments so you are ready to take advantage of them as they happen. Keeping your mind open to change is an essential skill for ongoing social media success. New ways of reaching people, new types of content, things that inspire people are constantly changing, you need to ride the wave if you wish to keep in front of mind of those you wish to influence. For anyone who missed the Social Media Workshop and subsequent webinars given by Maryrose Lyons of Brightspark Consulting, you can access them here until January 2017: http://www.brightspark-consulting.com/rgdata-socialmedia/


RGDATA | Submissions

RGDATA Submissions 2016/17 RGDATA represents your views to Government and Regulators on many issues. Over the past 12 months we have made many submissions and interventions to ensure that the voice of independent family owned shops is heard when key decisions are being made. Here is a selection of some of the RGDATA submissions over the past year: Action Plan for Jobs 2017: RGDATA Submission This submission highlighted key areas that require support mechanisms from the Government to encourage new shops and new jobs to rejuvenate town centres. RGDATA called for lower Employers’ PRSI for new employees to help create employment; measures to reduce business costs and the regulatory and compliance burden on shops. Budget 2017: Submission RGDATA made its budget submission in tandem with The Retail Consultation Forum to deliver key messages to Government from the retail sector about restoring the lower rate of Employers’ PRSI, investing in the rejuvenation of Town & Village centres, funding a national Town Centre Management Strategy and introducing mandatory Town Centre Health Checks. Election 2016 – Six Point Manifesto: RGDATA submission RGDATA identified six key policy priorities for the Independent Retail Grocery Sector – Jobs and Employment, Rates and Local Government Charges, Retail Planning, Regulation, Town Centre Regeneration and fair deal for the self-employed and entrepreneurs in this pre Election submission to all the main political parties. Retail & Reducing Energy Costs: Submission by Retail Consultation Forum Working Group This working group made recommendations to address current issues and challenges facing the retail sector, including the cost of utilities and proposed solutions to these challenges. National Lottery Switchover Presentation to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance on the operation of the National Lottery by RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley. RGDATA highlights retail agents’ concerns about failures relating to the new IT system; lack of in-store self scan ticket checkers and poor customer service and communications since the change in ownership of the National Lottery.

Proposed National Pilot Town Centre Health Check Training Programme: An initiative led by the Heritage Council and RGDATA This pilot programme devised by RGDATA and The Heritage Council in collaboration with many other groups and experts is to train representatives from ten Irish towns to carry out a town centre health check which will aid future town centre development and regeneration. Local Authorities, Town Centre Traders and local stakeholders will take part in two workshops and will be assisted by mentors. The ten pilot towns are Ballina, Cashel, Ennis, Dundalk, Monaghan, Naas, Rush, Sligo, Tralee and Tullamore.

Lidl ‘Full Shop’ Campaign: RGDATA complaint to Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) and to the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission RGDATA says that the Lidl advertising campaign is both grossly misleading and should be withdrawn. Property Tax: RGDATA writes to Local Authorities RGDATA writes to all Local Authorities considering setting a local adjustment factor regarding Local Property Tax saying if the Council is in a position to agree reductions in the rate of local Property Tax it should first introduce a reduction in Commercial Rates. Zero Hour & Low Hour Contracts: RGDATA submission Flexible working contracts are essential for employers and employees in the independent retail sector, RGDATA argues in its submission to the Department of Enterprise & Jobs. Consultation on National Minimum Wage: Submission by RGDATA RGDATA highlights the concerns of independent retailers regarding the cost of employment and the impact of unsustainable wage increases on job creation and retention. An Bord Pleanála’s independence is crucial: RGDATA Submission RGDATA’s submission on the Review of An Bord Pleanála (ABP) says that it is vital that the Board remain independent and non-political. The submission calls for a revamp of the ABP website to make it user friendly and up to date; sufficient resources to ensure that Board decisions are delivered within the agreed legal timeframes and acceptance of email as a form of correspondence with the Board. Consultation process on the draft Guidelines to the Grocery Goods Undertakings Regulations 2016: RGDATA Submission RGDATA was instrumental in successfully getting all symbol group retailers removed from being subject to new regulatory burden relating to written contracts with suppliers, in store training in compliance and other regulations arising from the Grocery Goods Undertakings Regulations introduced by the Government. RGDATA also succeeded in getting the threshold for compliance changed from €10million turnover to €50 million, ensuring that the majority of members’ remained outside the scope of the new regulations. RGDATA Submission on proposed mandatory calorie posting on menus Calorie posting on menus for independent retailers will cost €20,000 per shop, RGDATA says in its submission to Government on the proposed Health & Wellbeing Bill, which makes provision for the introduction of mandatory calorie posting in all food businesses.




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BENEFITS OF BEING A MEMBER RGDATA is the best value trade association in Ireland and it is the only trade association dedicated to the specific interests of independent family owned grocery shops, convenience stores, forecourts and supermarkets. RGDATA provides the most articulate voice for independent family owned convenience retailers. We’ve been representing your interests for over 70 years. RGDATA HELPLINE: FOR FAST FRIENDLY EXPERT ADVICE CALL THe RGDATA HELPLINE:


I must say I’m very impressed with the Members Only website. It gives me valuable information which I can use on a daily basis in my shop. It is always up to date and I use it regularly. Sharon Walsh, West End Service Station & Diner, Killarney Road, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick.

“We always feel reassured when we ring the RGDATA helpline as it’s a great back up to have when dealing with a tricky problem especially one we haven’t encountered before,” Gavin & John Hickey, Centra, Esso Service Station, Unit 5 Woods Centre, Clane, Co Kildare.

What you get • Representation and Lobbying: Getting your voice heard by Government, Media, Regulators. • Research & Campaigning: RGDATA produces regular reports and research on the retail convenience sector to assist our campaigning. • A strong articulate voice to promote family owned shops and community retailers. • Practical help and assistance with red tape and regulation. • Sustainable Retail Planning: The only trade association actively involved in planning policy; planning strategy, Town Centre revitalisation and sustainable retail development.

RGDATA Member Communications

Keep up to date on all the retail grocery industry news with • RGDATA Weekly Ezine - short and snappy keeping you up to date with what’s going on in the retail convenience sector. Sign up on our website www.rgdata.ie • RGDATA’s instant Newsflash • RGDATA Annual • Follow RGDATA on Twitter @RGDATATara • 24/7 Support Services: Members’ only website with all you need to know about running your shop. Telephone Helpline manned by expert advisors. Expert Affinity partners to assist you with the most difficult problems. • Affinity Deals: check out the members website – we can save you money • RGDATA Online News: Retailers give a brief insight into something they are doing that is adding to their business and their profits. • Training Initiatives: Online and tailored training with discounts available.

Star Store

Driving Excellence in Retail

Driving Excellence in Lottery Retailing

The National Lottery Star Store initiative is a new & innovative programme designed to create a new standard of excellence in Lottery retailing and drive sales growth and profitability in stores. It has been constructed with the National Lottery Retail Agent placed central to its success and supported by a ‘best in class’ service and distribution model. The National Lottery Star Store programme focuses on a number of key strategic areas in-store; equipment positioning, product range & availability, display & merchandising standards, promotion & execution. Measurement & Reward These areas of strategic focus have been incorporated into a progressive measurement & reward structure which underpins the Star Store programme. Star Mark is a unique scoring system used to benchmark against the highest standards of execution and delivery, ensuring opportunities for sales growth in your store are quickly identified and fully maximised. This is further supported with a comprehensive incentive scheme Star Rewards recognising and rewarding those who have reached the very highest standards of excellence in execution at store level. Investment in Retail Programmes of this nature require significant investment and PLI have already invested over €2M in new lottery point of purchase equipment this year. We have just completed a successful rollout of the latest industryleading Lottery Counter Units (LCUs) which have transformed lottery display and productivity at the point of sale. The LCU’s unique design combining terminal surround, ticket dispenser and jackpot communicator in one unit is proving to be a big winner with retailers with units already returning growth of 15% in stores. The LCU joins the existing dispenser range of 4, 8 & 12 facing units to ensure we have the right equipment to support an optimised product range for all retail agents. Driving Efficiencies through Technology PLI will soon release a number of new and innovative technology solutions to support the Star Store programme including a highly sophisticated predictive ordering system for Scratch Cards to be introduced on a phased basis over the coming months. System algorithms will automatically calculate the stock range and replenishment order quantities to best optimise the Lottery Scratch Card offer for each retailer.

A Bright Future We have little doubt that the National Lottery Star programme will contribute significantly to your business. Retailer engagement continues to be key to the success of the programme in what will be a record year for the National Lottery in terms of sales growth making it one of the fastest growing Lotteries in the world. We look forward to working closely with all our retail partners through the Star Store programme, bringing the Lottery to a new generation of players and building a €1 Billion business over the coming years. May we take this opportunity to thank you again for your support in this new phase of our development and your continued commitment to the National Lottery.   Niall Andrews Head of Sales & Operation PLI National Lottery.

LCUs proving to be a big winner with Retailers Ronan Frayne - Centra, Westland Row, Dublin 2 ‘It is very hard to get companies to invest in my business, however, when I was offered a way to increase my sales by 15% at no extra cost I took it. I see the LCU as a piece of store furniture that is long lasting and impactful. The investment has paid off with Lotto and Scratch Cards selling better than I expected’. Mary Croughan -SuperValu , Athlone,Co Westmeath “My area sales rep walked my team through the correct merchandising of the new unit and the results have been hugely positive. We now factor this into our daily routine.”

Everyone’s a winner

Star Store

Driving Excellence in Retail Star Store - the new Retail Programme from the National Lottery designed to drive a new standard of excellence and promote ‘best in class’ lottery retailing maximising sales and profitability in your store.

Implement Star Store principles and start driving sales growth and profitability in your store today.

Star Mark Measuring Excellence against a new standard


Star Plan A partnership approach to business planning

Star Rewards Rewarding Excellence in retail

Contact your local Field or Telesales Representative or any of our Sales Support team for further information.

Profile for Sheila Moran

RGDATA Annual 2016/17  

RGDATA Annual 2016/17