Friday 20 September 2019

Sam McCauley's Dublin HQ move causes a stir in Wexford


The Sam McCauley Chemists head office in Ardcavan
The Sam McCauley Chemists head office in Ardcavan

A recent decision by Sam McCauley Chemists to relocate its head office from Wexford, where it was founded, to Dublin has, unsurprisingly, caused some upset in the county. The pharmacy chain was bought in a €50m deal last summer by Carlyle Cardinal Ireland (CCI) a private-equity partnership of US buyout giant, Carlyle Group, and local investment house, Cardinal.

Around 30 people are employed in the company's head office and staff were recently told the move is likely to be made by the end of March 2019. But it was comments from chief executive Tony McEntee that really got local backs up. He told the Wexford People: "We need to find a team of online marketers and we are struggling to recruit people locally."

Claire Burke, Mary Clancy and John Burke
Claire Burke, Mary Clancy and John Burke

Wexford Chamber wrote to the company clearly perplexed by the suggestions that there is not enough talent in Wexford to satisfy the company's needs. Niall Reck, president of the chamber, said that the dedication and loyalty the people of Wexford had shown to the company had been "instrumental" to its growth. It pledged to help the company overcome any "obstacles" it had faced in Wexford.

Meanwhile, Karl Fitzpatrick - a former President of Wexford Chamber who runs the Chevron recruitment agency in Wexford -told the local newspaper he was surprised that the company could not find local people to fill roles indicating that there is plenty of talent in the county. He claimed that "30pc of people qualified within the marketing sector in Wexford travel outside the county for work".

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It’s been an exciting and busy few months for Clare hotelier John Burke, whose actress wife Aoibhin Garrihy recently had their first baby. Now Burke’s other baby - The Armada Hotel in Spanish Point - is turning 50 and he has commissioned a special whiskey to celebrate.

The Armada has been in Burke’s family since his father bought what was then a shebeen in 1968, before growing it into the 86-room destination that it has become today. Burke uncorked one bottle out of just 250 of the specially-commissioned 50th-anniversary whiskey by neighbouring West Clare distillers Chapel Gate Whiskey.

‘Oui!’ for new Decathlon store may hit smaller rivals

Next year could be the year of the French out around Ballymun in Dublin with the approval by Fingal County Council of a major outlet development by French sporting goods retailer Decathlon.

The 6,000 sq m store, on an almost two-hectare site next to the huge IKEA furniture store, is sure to attract in even more custom from the nearby M50.

No doubt, when built, it will generate the same sort of opening day frenzy as US doughnut outlet Krispy Kreme did in nearby Blanchardstown last month.

But — just as the arrival of IKEA was bad news for smaller furniture outlets around the region — the Decathlon development will add even more pressure to smaller sporting goods retailers that are already under pressure from web shopping.

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