LOUTH consumers are spending more than €80 million online ever year on purchases from companies outside Ireland, according to new lobby group 'eMark'.
The campaigners highlighted how Louth shoppers are often duped into buying goods online that appear to be from Irish retailers but instead are large and internet savvy international online retailers.
'Moreover these purchases are available from true Louth and Irish based retailers but are losing out to international retailers who are dominating this space,' according to Mark McCormack, spokesman for eMark.
'This is negatively affecting Irish retail business and job growth in the sector and will have a particularly negative impact on potential sales for retailers in Louth in the run up to Christmas and beyond.'
'The consequence of this also means fewer jobs and less business for Irish companies including businesses in Louth,' said Mr. McCormack. 'The solution to this problem is a national symbol for Irish owned and operated ecommerce sites called eMark, giving consumers the opportunity to support Irish jobs and business by supporting Irish owned and operated businesses online.'
'With the increase in the popularity of online shopping in the run up to Christmas, eMark will now provide Louth shoppers the tools to make informed decisions on where they choose to shop online,' he added.
'Therefore Louth online consumers may be more likely to choose Irish owned and Irish based companies in order to support the local economy.'
The eMark scheme would enable consumers to identify approved Irish online businesses before making purchasing decisions.
The campaign spokesman said that this move would lead to 'significant amounts of money remaining in the Irish economy, as well as the increase in jobs and jobs secured within the industry.'