News & Events

Minister Humphreys announces €659,550 in grants to retail sector under the Pilot Online Retail Scheme

Scheme to accelerate Irish retailers’ online offering and increase competitiveness

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, today announced the recipients of the second call of the pilot Online Retail Scheme, which is administered by Enterprise Ireland. A total of 29 retailers have been awarded €659,550 in funding as part of the €1.25m fund, which is targeted at online retailers to strengthen their online offering to enable them to reach a wider customer base.

Online Retail Scheme

The Online Retail Scheme was introduced by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation as part of the ongoing work of the Retail Consultation Forum, which Minister Humphreys chairs. The Scheme recipients were announced by the Minister today at the Retail Consultation Forum meeting in Dublin. The Scheme’s purpose is to support Irish retailers to strategically enhance their online sales capabilities to increase competitiveness and subsequently scale their businesses in international markets.

Under this second competitive call, the successful applicants will receive funding ranging from €10,000 to €25,000 to strengthen their online offering.

Speaking at the Retail Consultation Forum meeting, Minister Humphreys said: “As part of the Government’s Future Jobs Ireland framework, the pilot Online Retail Scheme is an important initiative to ensure that our retail businesses can remain competitive in a changing world where traditional business operations are increasingly being disrupted by new technology.”

She added: “Supporting the retail sector is critical to sustaining a robust regional economy, which my Department is committed to, particularly in the context of Brexit and the challenges that lie ahead. Increasing the international sales of Irish retailers through the online channel translates into sustaining and creating high-quality, sustainable jobs across the country.

“Today I am announcing funding of €659,550 under the pilot Online Retail Scheme to a further 29 retailers around the country, bringing the total to 40 retail businesses who are benefiting from the Scheme. I would like to congratulate all the successful applicants and wish them well in their efforts to expand their reach to a wider customer base both at home and abroad.”

Commenting, Stephen Hughes, Head of Consumer, Enterprise Ireland said: “I am delighted to say that the second call of the pilot Online Retail scheme attracted an even greater level of interest this time around, particularly from regionally-based retailers, which reflects the appetite for innovation among Irish businesses right across the country. While many smaller retailers are selling quality, in-demand products and services that will appeal to an international customer base, they need to invest in their digital presence to keep up with strong global competition. This scheme will provide Irish retailers with the additional resources to respond and adapt their business model to the upcoming challenges including potentially weaker consumer confidence and increasing business costs post Brexit.”

Welcoming today’s announcement Thomas Burke, Director, Retail Ireland, added: “Online retail remains a challenging space for most Irish retailers. While great strides have been made towards improving the offer to Irish consumers in recent years, initiatives such as the pilot Online Retail Scheme are a crucial support for our sector and will act as a catalyst to encouraging ever greater numbers of Irish retailers to take on the challenge of selling online. We know more and more Irish consumers are shopping online and we must do all we can to support the Irish retail sector react to that shift in buying patterns and seize the opportunities that exist.”

David Fitzsimons, Group CEO, Retail Excellence, said: “Today is a great day for Irish retailers with international online growth potential. To have so many progressive Irish retailers succeed with their application on phase two is a very welcome development. They are poised to take on the world. This has been one of the most effective programmes launched by Enterprise Ireland with the support of Minister Heather Humphreys and a great day for Ireland’s largest private industry - retail.”

The 29 retailers awarded funding, operate across a broad spectrum of sectors including healthcare, jewellery, fashion, sports, audio visual technology and marine equipment are:

  • Louis Copeland & Sons, Dublin
  • Vaughan Footwear Limited, Mayo
  • QCSG Limited t/a Byrnes Books & Toys, Wexford
  • Appleby Jewellers Limited, Dublin
  • Meaghers Pharmacy Online Sales Limited, Dublin
  • Lifestyle Sports (Ireland) Limited, Dublin
  • Cordar Pharmacy Limited, Mayo
  • Desino Limited t/a Jennys Boutique, Meath
  • Jack Layden Enterprises (Basecamp), Dublin
  • RQ Audio Visual Limited, Dublin
  • Designer Exchange Limited, Dublin
  • Aran Sweater Market Limited, Kerry
  • LGM Developments Limited, Sligo
  • Anthony Ryan Limited, Galway
  • R.A. Tierney & Co Limited, Dublin
  • Kerrigan’s Factory Shop Limited, Dublin
  • Stauntons Pharmacy Limited, Mayo
  • Spinnaker Marine Limited t/a Viking Marine, Dublin
  • Organico Shop, Café & Bakery Limited, Cork
  • Wembar Company, Dublin
  • CH Tralee, Kerry
  • Flairline Fashions Limited, Dublin
  • Seaclaidi Na Sceilige Teoranta, Kerry
  • Ted Johnson Limited, Kildare
  • Greenes Letterkenny Limited, Donegal
  • Caseys Furniture, Cork
  • Yarn Vibes, a subsidiary of Vibes and Scribes, Cork
  • Glenmac LK Limited, Donegal
  • Mulligans Chemist Limited, Waterford



For further information please contact:

Brigid Burke, Press and Media Relations, Enterprise Ireland, 087 1803995

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish State agency that works with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland partners with entrepreneurs, Irish businesses, and the research and investment communities to develop Ireland’s international trade, innovation, leadership and competitiveness.  In this way, we support sustainable economic growth and regional development, and help create and sustain employment in Ireland.

About the pilot Online Retail Competitive Scheme

The purpose of this scheme is to support Irish-owned retail SMEs to embed a more sophisticated online trading (e-tailing) strategy in their business model. Applicant companies must be an Irish-owned small or medium sized retail enterprise that has the potential to create jobs, generate growth in sales and internationalise their business.

The business must also:

• have an existing online presence (e.g. website or social media)

• have a retail outlet and derive the majority of revenue from the retail outlet(s)

• employ at least 10 employees in the Republic of Ireland (on a full-time equivalent basis)

The Retail Consultation Forum

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation convenes the Retail Consultation Forum and provides it with Secretariat support. The Forum enables key issues affecting the retail sector to be discussed, with a view to identifying practical actions which could be taken by Government, or by industry itself, to support sustainable jobs growth in the sector. The Forum is chaired by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD.