Are you a small to medium size enterprise? Would you like to attend a two day workshop to help improve your customers experience, grow your business faster and enhance your profitability?

On 4th and 5th November, the Department of Finance’s Innovation Lab is running a two day workshop for small businesses to test new ideas and tools to create and deliver great customer experience in a fast changing marketplace.

Commenting on the Brexit proposals outlined by the Prime Minister today, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“These proposals are a complete non-starter”

“The Primes Minister’s plan would result in North to South tariffs which would cause huge negative impacts upon our farmers and the agri-food sector as a whole. Furthermore, it would also mean two borders requiring renewal after 4 years, surveillance in border communities without their consent and checks North-South and West-East”


Commenting on the collapse of Thomas Cook, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Our thoughts are with the stranded holidaymakers and the staff of Thomas Cook. However, we should not underestimate the impact that the loss of over twenty travel agencies in Northern Ireland will have on local high streets and town centres”

“The loss of any business on the high street always has a impact on surrounding traders as a result of less footfall. Sadly, the 23 Thomas Cook outlets join a growing list of vacancies in our town centres and shopping centres”

firmus energy announced today that it is to drop natural gas tariffs for its 95,000 customers across the province by 8.77% from October 2019.

For customers in the Ten Towns network area, the typical household bill will drop by £61 per year1. The typical household bill in the Greater Belfast network area will fall by £54 per year1.

Confirming the price change Michael Scott, managing director of firmus energy said:

Commenting on Minister Michael Gove’s remarks on The Andrew Marr Show that there would be no food shortages after a no-deal Brexit, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“The Minister is mistaken in his assertion that there will be no shortage of fresh food. We agree with our NIRC colleagues that lettuce, tomatoes, soft fruit and other fresh produce will face significant delays in the event of a no-deal Brexit”

As the first anniversary of the Primark Fire approaches, Retail NI has welcomed progress in rejuvenating the area around Bank Buildings and called for ‘bold, radical and new vision for a 21st century Belfast City Centre”.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“The past year has been has been a huge challenge for the City Centre and its traders. Its has been incredibly tough for the traders particularly those in Castle Street and the cordon”

“This whole crisis has shown just how resilient city centre traders really are”

In 2018, Portadown was crowned Northern Ireland’s Champion High Street of the Year by the Great British High Street. 12 months on, can the town still claim this title and how have the widely-reported challenges currently facing the retail sector impacting the Co. Armagh town?

These questions and many others will be addressed at Ulster Bank’s ‘Surviving the High Street’ event which is being held in collaboration with the local Chamber of Commerce, on Thursday August 29that Millennium Court Arts Centre in Portadown

Trade NI representatives Mary Meehan, Glyn Roberts & Colin Neill with Shadow Chancellor

Trade NI, Northern Ireland’s largest business coalition, representing Manufacturing NI, Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI has today met with the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell who is visiting Belfast.

 Trade NI representatives Colin Neill, Glyn Roberts and Mary Meehan said:

“This was an excellent meeting with the Shadow Chancellor, covering Brexit, Business Rates, Infrastructure and other challenges facing our members. We outlined our ideas to reboot economic policy in Northern Ireland”

Henderson Group, owners of the SPAR, EUROSPAR, VIVO, VIVOXTRA and VIVO Essentials brands in Northern Ireland are celebrating their biggest success yet in the highly prestigious Great Taste Awards for 2019.

Five of the Group’s fresh, locally created own brand desserts appear on this year’s list, with two gaining 2-star status, and three gaining 1-star. They are:

Commenting on the £300m of extra funding for economic growth deals which covers Northern Ireland announced by the Prime Minister, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is very welcome news which could potentially mean every part of Northern Ireland being covered by either a City or Growth Deal”

“In my telephone conversation with the new NI Secretary of State on Saturday, I emphasised the importance of rapid progress for implementation of our local City Deals”