Thursday 23 November 2017

The secret elixir of success cannot be copied cheaply

Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

Last week I spent a lot of time with a local hero. Brecht says every hero becomes a bore at last. But I was never bored by the still boyish John Field who, for over 40 years, has run the famous Field's of Skibbereen.

Field's is famous for four things: its Supervalu store, which keeps winning Checkout awards; its coffee shop, delicatessen and bakery; the pride its long- serving staff take in their local store; and the loyalty of its long-time customers.

John Field is a legend in the retail sector. This is the second toughest business in town – only marginally less competitive than the newspaper trade, currently under pressure from the internet. Both sectors have seen three revolutions in 30 years.

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