Tuesday 16 July 2019

Couple tap into cashless future with Ireland's first card-only cafe

 

Stephen and Ruth Deasy, founders of the Bear Market coffee chain, in their new George’s Street outlet, a cashless store that opens tomorrow
Stephen and Ruth Deasy, founders of the Bear Market coffee chain, in their new George’s Street outlet, a cashless store that opens tomorrow

Fearghal O'Connor

Cash is restricted in a bear market, but one innovative Dublin coffee chain - itself called Bear Market - is taking the idea to an extreme.

It is set to open Ireland's very first cashless store tomorrow in Dublin's South Great George's Street as part of its ambitious expansion plans.

Customers at the new outlet will be able to purchase their americanos and flat whites by tapping and going, but not with notes and coins.

And the husband and wife team behind the growing coffee chain, Stephen and Ruth Deasy, believe their new city centre outlet will be just the first in a wider move by retailers towards cashless shopping, that speeds up transactions and improves security for retail outlets.

"Cashless outlets will be the future of retail, and something that will vastly improve the customer experience," said Stephen.

"We came across the idea three years ago in the States. We could see the benefits, but at the time Ireland wasn't ready for it," he added.

"Back then our store in Blackrock was doing 60pc card payments and 40pc cash. Whereas now we are up to at least 85pc card payments across our outlets," he said.

The pair set up the first Bear Market in Blackrock after they qualified as architects during the recession in 2009.

"At the time we were looking at emigrating and other options. But we saw coffee as a real gap," said Ruth Deasy.

Self-funding to date, Bear Market now has stores in Blackrock, Pembroke Street and George's Dock in the IFSC, but plans to grow to about 10 outlets in Dublin.

"We have different plans in place and if we decide to expand more quickly we would look at the funding route but the main thing we look at it is that new units are in the right property and in the right place," she said.

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