News and Media

Woodies Staff Awards Ceremony


On Monday 13th November 2017, Woodies staff from all over Ireland came together at the Westbury Hotel on Grafton Street for a special awards ceremony.

176 staff members were awarded Level 5 certificates in Retail Customer Service which they achieved through work-based-training in their own stores.

Damien Richards, CEO of Woodies was in attendance to show his support for his employees. TD Mary Butler, Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, gave the graduates a warm address and congratulated them on their achievements. She spoke of the competitiveness challenges in the modern retail environment, her own background in the sector and the role of training in helping to meet those challenges. Paul Healy, CEO of Skillnets congratulated all the graduates on their achievements and went on to discuss the importance of upskilling staff in the modern world of work and its particular importance in the retail sector. He explained how Retail Ireland Skillnet offers this opportunity in a very practical way through work-based education.

As the body responsible for developing and delivering this award, Retail Ireland Skillnet’s network manager Sean Carlin commented how he was; “…delighted to be part of today’s celebration and to see so many Woodies staff benefit from the in-house training.”





November 21st, 2017|Retail Events|

Congratulations Retail Graduates!

Today is yet another proud day for Retail Ireland Skillnet – Graduation!!

55 of our students will graduate later today from the Letterkenny Institute of Technology with their Degree in Retail Management! 43 will achieve their Level 7 Degree whilst a further 12 will be awarded their Honours Degree (Level 8).

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate each and every student for their hard work and dedication and to wish all graduates the utmost success in their future Retail careers. You did it!!

October 27th, 2017|Retail Events|

Retail Study Tour 2017. Destination: London!

Our sixth annual Retail Study Tour was recently held on 27th and& 28th of September where London’s top retailers opened up their doors to deliver an inspiring and insightful experience for our attendees. The focus this year was on ‘Digital Innovation in Retail’, with an aim to shed light on how the most modern retails in London have adapted their business models to stay ahead:

The digital economy has disrupted traditional retailing, causing rapid shifts in consumer behavior and expectations, forcing retailers to constantly rethink their strategy so they remain relevant and competitive.


Day one kicked off with a tour of Marks and Spencer’s flagship store at Marble Arch. Our host, Commercial Manager  Emily Padgett shared some insights into how this iconic, yet traditional retail giant has remained competitive despite the many challenges of the digital economy



That afternoon, we were treated to a masterclass on ‘The Future of Shopping’ with global management consultancy company Accenture who shared with us some insights on the future of retail and the impact of technology.

We ended Day 1 with a store visit To Oliver Bonas on Tottenham Court Road – a ‘quirky’ retailer with over 42 stores across the UK boasting an eclectic mix of everything from homeware to clothes, furniture and cards. Our guide and speaker – Katharine Saralis is the company’s omnichannel project manager within its e-commerce department, shared how the retailer’s online sales have become such a success story, mainly due to how the company builds its brand awareness.


Day two started with a visit to the famous luxury department store – Harrods. The name speaks for itself here as people flock from all over the globe to shop at this renowned retail destination. After being given the rare opportunity to [...]

October 10th, 2017|General Retail, Uncategorized|

Retail Degree off to a Flying Start for 2017!

September at Retail Ireland Skillnet can only mean one thing = Retail Degree time!

This year we welcomed 55 new students on board our Degree in Retail Management Practice.  All students have been equipped with the tools and information required to get started and have now entered the world of work-based learning and education!

This year sees a change of venue where the Degree will be delivered at College House in Dublin 2. This central location is easier for our students  to access as they travel from all over Ireland to attend classes for the required two days per month.

Below are a few pictures from registration day and a short clip of Dr Oran Doherty outlining some of the features of the Degree.

We are always amazed at the amount of applicants for the Degree each year and we look forward to working with some of Ireland’s future Retail Managers in the years to come!
Director of Retail Ireland, Tom Burke addressing the new cohort of Degree Participants

Retail Ireland Skillnet Manager Sean Carlin welcoming the 55 new students on board the Degree

Dr Oran Doherty outlining some of the features of the Degree to the new students

Degree in Retail Management – Applications now OPEN!

We are now accepting applications for our hugely popular Degree in Retail Management Practice
Places on this course fill up fast every year so now is your chance to secure your place on our ‘Debt Free Degree’!
Why choose this Degree?

Allows you to work full-time while you study
50% funding is available to all – annual fees are just €1500
Only 16 class based days per year are required – all other learning/coursework is conducted in your place of work
Delivered on ‘retail-friendly’ dates
Work-based learning means all learning is practical and directly related to your everyday retail role
Proven track record – most graduates are promoted following Degree completion

To find out more information please click here.
If you would like to apply for your place on the Degree, click here
For any further queries, please contact the Retail Ireland Skillnet office on 0749176853 or email

Valentine’s Day in Ireland

What do Irish people really think of Valentine’s Day? And how does the average Irish person splash out on their significant other?

The article below, published today by has some interesting insights!…

Today is Valentine’s day and in a recent survey conducted by iReach Insights, 1,000 adults were asked about Valentine’s day and their view on Valentine’s day and plans for the holiday.
The research shows that the majority of adults (73%) aren’t big fans of Valentine’s day. In a further breakdown, 7% of adults in Ireland are huge fans of Valentine’s day, interestingly more male (10%) than female (5%). Twenty per cent are somewhat a fan of Valentine’s, 38% are not really fans and 35% are not fans of Valentine’s day at all. Eighty per cent of those who answered they’re not a fan of Valentine’s day aren’t one because they think it’s too commercialised, 45% aren’t a fan because everything is overpriced and 28% because they think it’s not a celebration.

Fifty seven per cent of those who are a fan of Valentine’s day are one because they think it’s a good reminder to appreciate your relationship, 47% think it’s a nice day to remember with your partner [58% male, 37% female] and 45% like Valentine’s day because it’s a day to celebrate love.

People in Ireland will celebrate Valentine’s day with dinner (33%), staying in and watch a movie together (26%), with a weekend away (10%), go for a few drinks (12%) and go to cinema (11%). 

Just over half of respondents (55%) will buy a present for their partner and 45% won’t. When asked “What will you buy?”, people answered with buying a card (51%) [40%: male, 65%: female], flowers (37%) [61%: male, 7% female] chocolate (33%), [...]

February 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Retail Ireland Skillnet – Explained in 95 seconds!

We are delighted to share our new ‘explainer’ video with you! This short clip will give viewers a real sense of what Retail Ireland Skillnet is all about –  and in just 95 seconds!


February 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Look Who Came to Visit us Yesterday!

Pat Breen – Minister of State for Employment and Small Business


Joe McHugh – Minister of State for the Diaspora and Overseas Development

paid Retail Ireland Skillnet a visit yesterdy at our office at the CoLab at Letterkenny Institute of Technology. Network Manager Sean Carlin introduced the ministers to how we assist the Irish retail sector and how we have become the leading provider of retail education and training in Ireland. The Ministers were particularly interested in how our work-based approach operated in everyday scenarios and how we manage the industry/academic balance.

As you can see from the pictures, there were plenty of smiles all round!

December 6th, 2016|Retail Events|

You won’t believe the latest shopping technology!!

Imagine being able to walk into a store, pick up what you want and just walk straight out the door again – no queues, no checkouts, no hassle! Well imagine no more, are Amazon are set to make this store concept a reality very soon.

Using what they claim to be “the world’s most advanced shopping technology”, Amazon Go is the company’s first convenience store. Due to open in Seattle in early 2017, the store will operate through their ‘Amazon Go’ App. When a shopper enters the store, they check in via the app which uses the latest technology to track what they pick up in store. The system then senses when they’re leaving, adds up their items and charges their Amazon account. Amazing!

Watch the video by clicking here to find out more.


December 6th, 2016|Retail Innovation|

Black Friday in Ireland – What You Need to Know for 2016

The Irish Independent has published a list of Ireland’s best bargains ahead of Black Friday 2016, which is set to fall this coming Friday, 25th November. This is reportedly the biggest sales day of the year for Irish retailers – and consumers! So being well informed could be well worth it in saving you some much needed €€€s in the lead up to Christmas.

As you might expect, the main shopping streets will be chockablock, so if you don’t fancy wrestling your way through the crowds/queues there’s always the option to shop online. Remember to stay safe though if choosing this option, make sure the retailer is reputable and don’t fall for bargains that seem way too good to be true – as the saying goes “If in doubt, cut it out!!”.

Read more on the Irish Independent’s article here



November 23rd, 2016|Uncategorized|