Business Irish

Friday 30 September 2016

Irish design sector bucked recession says Kilkenny group

Published 25/09/2015 | 02:30

William Bunbury of Bunbury Boards, Co Carlow; Landscape artist Vera Gaffney, from Wexford ; potter Louis Mulcahy, from Co Kerry; fashion designer Fiona Heaney, from Fee G fashion label in Dublin; and jewellery designer Blaithin Ennis, from Co Wexford
William Bunbury of Bunbury Boards, Co Carlow; Landscape artist Vera Gaffney, from Wexford ; potter Louis Mulcahy, from Co Kerry; fashion designer Fiona Heaney, from Fee G fashion label in Dublin; and jewellery designer Blaithin Ennis, from Co Wexford

The power of Irish design is underlined in new figures released by the Kilkenny Shop in advance of its annual Kilkenny Irish Craft and Design Week from October 5-11.

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Kilkenny's turnover of Irish design has increased by 68pc since 2010. It is a significant growth during recessionary times and was confirmed by Greg O'Gorman, group marketing director of the Irish-owned chain which has 13 stores nationwide and has been in business for 53 years.

The designated week was launched three years ago to put the spotlight on Irish design and so far, the company have invested more than €150,000 on promotion.

Research by the Kilkenny Group revealed that over half of customers research products online before visiting a store and international transactions have risen by over 10pc year to date versus 2014. Over the past three years, the company has invested €250,000 in its digital/social strategy and online store "with a clear focus on the US and UK", Mr O'Gorman said.

"The traditional big Irish brands were always seen to be Waterford, Tipperary Crystal and Newbridge Silverware. These brands are still very successful and have now been complemented by a wider selection of Irish designers."

Brian McGee, acting CEO of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, said the sector "has been growing over the past several years as demand for Irish products improves domestically and tourism increases".

Irish Independent

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