Recession good for firms - Quinn

Caitlin McBride

RETAIL genius Feargal Quinn has said that business owners were too "relaxed" during the boom years and welcomes the challenge of forcing them to increase their standards.

Since the Celtic Tiger came to a grinding halt, the driving force behind successful chain Superquinn said that the downturn in the economy led to a number of businesses improving their standards in order to bring back customers.

"During the good times, a lot of shop owners got very relaxed. Money was easy to get, customers were easy to get and you didn't have to work quite so hard," Feargal told the Herald.

During his reign at the helm of one of RTE's more surprising hits, Quinn's Retail Therapy, Feargal visited various different shops throughout the country injecting some much-needed expertise about how to improve sales.

And his show has proven that the recession is ironically more value for money for consumers and entrepreneurs alike.


"The recession has put pressure on business owners. One shop in particular in Claremorris upped its standards [on the show] and the shop across the road did the same. Then another shop nearby did also and suddenly, the whole street was upgraded."

Although Feargal (74) has been a TV sensation since the programme aired -- which secured an average audience of more than 500,000 viewers for its six-episode stint earlier this year -- he won't be pursuing a career on the small screen full time.

"My big problem is divorce," he joked.

"My wife told me I just need to learn to say no."

Quinn's Retail Therapy is currently in production for its upcoming second season and production company Animo Productions is looking for a variety of retailers to contact them about appearing on the show.

"We are looking for business owners to get in touch with us as soon as possible. They can email me at," a spokesperson for the production team said.

"We want all shops -- not just groceries or department stores, but a good mix of everything. We are ready to take it all on."

Although Feargal is one of the country's most successful businessmen, he is still in touch with the individuals he took under his wing for the programme -- all of which have seen a steady increase in sales.

A spokesperson for RTE told the Herald: "We were really pleased with the success of Feargal's show. Obviously there is an appetite for positive recession stories and we are looking forward to the second series."