Save our shops: the potential contenders
British Prime Minister David Cameron has taken the unprecedented step of appointing a retail expert, 'Queen of Shops' Mary Portas, to save the British high street.
Ireland has a host a retailers and business people who could do a similar job for the moribund retail sector here.
•Senator Feargal Quinn: Quinn is a man with an eye for detail and whose business success at Superquinn was based on providing a quality product combined with unrivalled customer service. Like Portas, Quinn has brought his retail talents to the small screen with his show Feargal Quinn's Retail Therapy.
•Ian Galvin: Ian Galvin is chairman of Aurora Fashions Ireland and is known as an astute retailer who has an unrivalled knowledge of the Irish retail scene. He has stressed the importance of e-commerce, e-tailing and the online market, which he believes is now essential for success, and has first-hand experience of the challenges faced by Irish retailers.
•Bobby Kerr: a straight-talking entrepreneur with a commonsense approach, the chairman of the Insomnia chain of coffee shops thinks outside the box.
•Lucinda O'Sullivan: a passionate advocate of artisan producers and independent retailers, O'Sullivan has written a weekly report on the retail scene for more than five years.
•Kevin Jephson: the director of the Ardkeen Quality Food Store and current chairman of Retail Excellence Ireland is one of Ireland's best independent retailers.
•Colm Sorensen: the managing director of Butler's Chocolates is a passionate advocate of Irish retail whose business has managed to thrive -- despite the downturn.
•Declan Ronayne: managing director of Dixon's Retail Group which includes PC World and Currys. His international experience and forthright views could give a refreshing international perspective to the problems in Irish retail.