No fewer than five of the seven Kerry businesses to have made the shortlist of the country's most prestigious retail awards are in Listowel.
It's an incredible vote of confidence in the town's family-oriented trade and, combined with the Tidy Towns success, is making for a marketing dream for the Listowel Business and Community Alliance members. The shortlist also highlights the impressive diversity of business in the town with all areas of business covered, from gardens, home and living to fashion, hardware and culinary excellence.
The five Listowel businesses named in the national top 100 under the Retail Excellence Awards were: Coco at The Arcade, John R's Foodhall, Listowel Garden Centre, Lizzy's Little Kitchen and McKenna's. Just two other Kerry businesses made the list, both in Killarney.
Deputy Mayor of Listowel Mike Kennelly said he felt it only right Listowel was recognised to the degree it was, given the exacting standards pursued by traders in general: "It is only right given the very high standard here in Listowel of service and customer engagement among the businesses and I am thrilled to join in and congratulate the five businesses on their success in making it to the Top 100".
Throw in Listowel's winning appearance on Monday night's Nationwide and pretty much all the ingredients of a marketing bonanza are now on the cards. Listowel made the grade on the back of effective inspections, by 'mystery shoppers' who found the service and standards in all five outlets to be of the highest quality. Chairperson of Listowel Business and Community Alliance Rose Wall said everyone was thrilled for the five Alliance members. "We are thrilled that five Listowel businesses have been selected in Ireland's Top 100 Retail Businesses as it is great recognition for their sheer hard work and commitment.
Ms Wall said that it was not just Listowel that would benefit from the exposure, but the wider region. "It's also a fantastic boost for business in the North Kerry area and further shows the quality offering we have here in Listowel" Listowel's riding a winning wave in general at present with the town together as one like never before in promoting itself. Monday's Nationwide was hugely well-received as the show looked to Listowel's Tidy Towns win on a night when viewership would have been at an annual high, just before the first night of the Roses.