Music shop adapts to get back on track
GOLDEN Discs once dominated music sales in Ireland with 35 stores in 2000, but online competition left the company facing closure in 2009.
However, the chain survived in a slimmed-down version with 15 outlets. Managing director Stephen Fitzgerald puts that down to matching or beating online prices while launching an online download store with 10 million tracks.
"As a music store, we faced the online challenge before anyone else," he said.
Online retailing has allowed Irish companies to tap into markets they could never have reached conventionally, said Alan Coleman of Wolfgang Digital, a marketing firm.
For example, Celtic Wedding Rings now sells to America, while Sligo company Voya is selling seaweed cosmetics to Kazakhstan.
Surprisingly, the internet may actually help local stores because Amazon in the UK has started making deliveries to corner stores for consumers who can't be at home to get them, and this may spread to Ireland, he said.
Topaz Ireland said they are also offering "parcel motels" at petrol stations so customers can get online purchases delivered to lockers which are available 24 hours a day.