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SVP to host retail conference for its shops

By Ann Marie Foley - 03 May, 2019

The author of an international bestseller about shopping is to address the Society of St Vincent de Paul’s (SVP) 4th National Retail Conference at the University of Limerick.

The keynote speaker, Paco Underhill, has advised Microsoft, McDonald’s, Adidas and Estee Lauder, and is author of the book Why We Buy – The Science of Shopping.

“The focus of the SVP National Retail Conference in 2019 will be on how we deliver even more value and quality to the hard-pressed consumer,” said Dermot McGilloway, National Retail Development Manager, SVP. The SVP has around 227 Vincent’s charity shops and retail centres across Ireland.

He added that “Consumer confidence in Ireland is still very fragile as a direct result of a high personal tax burden, the continued high cost of housing, subdued wage growth and uncertainty over Brexit. The customer wants more for their Euro than ever before.”

The conference will facilitate discussion on these issues and other challenges and opportunities facing charity retail in 2019, for example how SVP charity shops might approach trading in the global phenomenon called the “experience economy”.  An example of this is restaurants and bars that invest in décor, ambience and layout of the establishment as much as in the product, and “sell the sizzle not the steak”.

So participants will consider how to cater for consumers in this new retail world. Likewise, as Vincent’s shops are among an ever increasing number of shops in the charity retail sector, they will need to differentiate from the competition.

“The National Retail Team is fully committed to meeting and exceeding the expectations of the modern consumer,” said Dermot McGilloway.

Other speakers include Chief Executive of the UK Charity Retail Association, Mr Robin Osterley, and a speaker from Brown Thomas in Ireland.

Vincent’s National Retail Team has also organised a supplier exhibition and an awards ceremony to celebrate the contribution of shop staff and volunteers in 2018.

Staff, volunteers and colleagues from Vincent’s shops across the country will attend. There will also be some interest from elsewhere and from the international network of SVP charity shops, so SVP urges people to book early to avoid disappointment. The conference is on Monday 10 June 2019 at the University of Limerick.

For further information see: www.svp.ie.

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