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The Punt: Dunnes Stores looks to move online


Margaret Heffernan of Dunnes Stores

Margaret Heffernan of Dunnes Stores

Michael O'Leary, chief executive officer of Ryanair Holdings Plc

Michael O'Leary, chief executive officer of Ryanair Holdings Plc



Margaret Heffernan of Dunnes Stores

The launch of an online grocery service by Dunnes Stores will be arguably the biggest change the retailer has undergone in decades.

The Irish Independent revealed earlier this year that Dunnes - the third-biggest player in Ireland's multi-billion euro grocery market after Tesco and Supervalu - is hoping to launch its online service this autumn. It already has an online site for clothing, but a grocery service is a massive undertaking, especially for a retailer that has no central distribution and still relies on daily deliveries to its stores.

But the plans are continuing to be rolled out. The retailer is continuing to hire staff for the new online business, including online grocery trading administrators. Those in-store administrators are expected to report to the head of the online service and liaise with store trading departments.

They'll also be responsible for reviewing weekly online sales by department, compared to offline sales, to identify underperforming categories or products.

Dunnes has already applied for planning permission at some stores, including its flagship outlet in Cornelscourt in south Dublin, to provide space for 'click and collect' groceries that are ordered online.

With the Christmas trading period coming up, launching an online service in autumn could be asking for trouble. The Punt awaits its launch with eager anticipation.

Making eyes at new employers

If you're a looking for some love from potential employers, look no further.

The Institute of Creative Advertising has reimagined speed dating for the corporate world, giving graduates and final year students the chance to have their portfolios critiqued by some of Ireland's leading creative directors.

The institute is holding a portfolio lab for media students on Thursday that will allow them to meet with three creative directors for 20 minutes each in order to help them break into the advertising and design industry.

Each director will give the student or graduate feedback on their portfolio and advice on how to improve and refine it.

Some of the directors set to attend include Bobby Byrne of Rothco, Emmet Wright from Chemistry and Gerard Whelan from Brand Central.

There will also be an etiquette class on the dos and don'ts of pitching yourself to potential employers.

Not talking smut about your ex (employer) will presumably be among the more obvious tips.

O'Leary gets in a dig at rivals

When you are the chief executive of a firm that is expecting to crank out more than €1bn in profits you can probably get away with being a little smug.

Then again, it's not like Michael O'leary ever needed an excuse for his brash behaviour. The outspoken Ryanair chief executive is never one to shy away from having a dig at a union or competitor (preferably both at the same time, if possible) and he was at it again last week, taking a cut at rival airline Alitalia.

In Rome to launch new routes, the carrier's chief executive, inset, quashed suggestions that the airline's financial success could trigger takeover interest, and joked that it is now too valuable to be vulnerable to a bid from the deep-pocketed carriers of the Gulf.

He added that he could not envisage getting into the kind of partnership low-cost rival Air Berlin has forged with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which also now controls Alitalia.

"Ever is a long time and you should never say never," Mr O'Leary said. "But, unlike Alitalia, we don't need the Gulf carriers, we compete with them.

"I don't see any reason for us to work with the Gulf carriers and I don't think they'll ever be able to buy Ryanair."

Irish Independent