Meet the USA buyer and retail network event

Mollie Ellis, Ewe Sir, Fermoy with Joan Kelleher, Business Adviser, LEO Cork North & West at Cork County Council's Local Enterprise Offices hosting of a 'Meet the USA Buyer & Retail Network Event' on October 24 at the Trident Hotel, Kinsale. (Pic: Anna Groniecka)

A small but dynamic trade event was held in Kinsale on October 24, offering American and Cork retailers the chance to meet and review Cork gift, craft, design and food makers.

Gift and tourism retailers are a key ingredient in the Irish economic landscape and part of the Irish tourism experience.

Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork North & West & Cork South created this unique opportunity for local designers, makers and gift food and drink products, to meet with local and international retail buyers in person.

LEO have a track record of preparing businesses to sell into trade and export with mentoring, training and exhibiting at Showcase Ireland.

Joan Kelleher, Business Adviser, LEO Cork North & West with James O’Leary and Anita Coughlan, (The Luxury Confectionery Company, Mallow) at Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise Offices host a ‘Meet the USA Buyer & Retail Network event’ at the Trident Hotel in Kinsale. (Pic: Anna Groniecka)

The North American Celtic Trade Association (NACTA) is an established and prestigious group of over 100 retailers from the USA who retail iconic Irish brands in their shops, often referred to as ‘The Celtic Buyers’.

The NACTA co-sponsor the ‘USA Gift Suppliers of the Year’ with partner agency Enterprise Ireland and are a key overseas buying group for Showcase, Ireland’s leading creative expo.

The event was attended by Cork retailers, including CK53 Design, a collection of wooden home wares based in Kildorrery, who joined 21 Cork gift, design and craft makers, exhibiting to retailers.

The event hosted a short seminar on the Irish American marketplace and online sales and included key sector players including Amy Whitaker from Blarney Woollen Mills and Ger Keohane from award winning online retail solutions business StudioForty9.

It allowed an opportunity to meet and network with Cork makers and USA shopkeepers and strategical focus on the USA market places, as well as better understanding the tourism consumer who visits and purchases in Irish shops.

Hosted in The Trident Hotel in Kinsale, over 30 retail buyers from USA and Cork met with the 21 Cork gift and food gift businesses to share insights on how to export into the USA, sell in tourism shops here and the challenges of online sales.