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O’Sullivan calls for pilot scheme to support Irish retailers to trade online

12 October 2017

Statement by Jan O'Sullivan TD
Spokesperson on Housing & Local Government, Enterprise & Innovation

Labour Party spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Jan O’Sullivan TD has called on the Government, in advance of Brexit, to establish a scheme to support Irish retailers to set up online e-commerce sites as a matter of urgency.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“With the threat of Brexit looming, online shopping is taking more and more money out of Ireland and into the coffers of large, mostly UK-based retailers.

“Figures from Retail Excellence Ireland show Irish consumers are spending €850,000 online per hour, but with the lion’s share – 70 per cent – going to UK retailers.

“This money is leaving the country when shops in Ireland, especially outside the capital, are struggling to stay open.

“I raised this with the Tánaiste in the Dáil today because it is a real threat to the viability of long-established retail businesses. It costs €10,000 to set up a good on-line e-commerce site and most businesses simply can't afford that. While there is a Trading Online Voucher scheme in place, this doesn't deal with the set-up costs.

“A pilot scheme would give businesses a chance to get ahead of the burgeoning growth in online shopping and help to keep vital cash and jobs in Ireland.”