Ergo: Rising footfall at border shopping centre bucks trend
The border may find itself in the news at the moment for all of the wrong reasons but new figures suggest that, at least in one nearby shopping centre, life goes on.
Dundalk's Marshes Shopping Centre, just miles south of the border, has bucked national retail footfall trends with a 2.1pc increase in shoppers in 2018, welcoming four million visitors last year, Ergo has learned.
And in the critical Christmas period last December, footfall rose by 1.1pc. So against all the odds, with online shopping disrupting the overall sector and cheaper sterling attracting people over the nearby border, Marshes Shopping Centre in Dundalk has become the north east's retail success story.
The Penneys store at Marshes is the largest Primark outlet in the north east, also attracting shoppers from Northern Ireland. The fact that Northern Ireland's largest Penneys store in Belfast was destroyed last year may explain to some degree the success of Marshes' outlet.
But Retail Ireland, the Ibec group which represents the sector, says there is consensus in the industry that footfall levels in traditional shopping hot spots are continuing to decline, largely as a result of a move to online shopping by Irish consumers.
"Even with fluctuations in consumer sentiment, overall personal spending has been positive in the past couple of years, boosted by an increase in numbers employed in the region," said manager Seán Farrell.
"With Brexit looming, Marshes is implementing a marketing strategy for 2019 that has local customer need at its core."
Women in the picture at new Central Park forum
Ireland's latest Women in Technology initiative has been launched among the 6,500 commercial employees at Central Park in Dublin's Leopardstown. Fully subscribed just three days after registration opened, more than 150 people attended.
A panel discussion that was MC'd by Galadrielle Heinrich, global VP for the Salesforce women's network in EMEA, featured guest speakers Avril Crowley, global product marketing director with Sage; Olivia Leonard, Mastercard's SVP of enterprise erchitecture; Joanna Gilfoy, head of the enterprise customer solutions team at Vodafone Ireland; and Terri Moloney, director of employee Success at Salesforce.
A year in development, the Women in Technology network is part of the 'Live Work Grow' initiative, aiming to be a forum for women at companies based in Central Park.
- Ray Moran's Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry has got the thumbs up to build out the first phase of an ambitious expansion. The Sunday Independent previously reported plans by the Dublin clinic - favoured by injured sports stars - to build a five storey extension to its medical facilities. It will add a 1,500 sq m extension, with two new surgery theatres and four intensive care units. The clinic has also told planners that it has recently acquired lands beside its facility and is planning a "larger scale application" as part of a long term strategy.
Sunday Indo Business