Mountmellick shoppers can now go online to the town’s website to order goods for delivery and grab special offers, with the launch of a new site.
Dragon’s Den mentor Bobby Kerr, owner of the Insomnia café chain, came to town last Tuesday July 8 to push the button and launch www.Mountmellick.ie.
Speaking in the modern library, he had plenty of advice for the packed audience of mostly business people.
“If you want success, set out what that success looks like. You have a wonderful town, you need to look at the town as a shopping centre, go forward together, think ‘how can we be better than Tullamore, or Portarlington? How can we eat their lunch?’ You are in competition with other towns. You have got to fight for yourselves,” said Kerr.
He advised shops to cut prices and bundle offers. He said the best marketing was free, showing the infamous image of IMF bankers walking past a begger holding out an Insomnia cup.
Flats above shops need to be occupied he said.
“We need to get people back in towns. The only way retail will thrive is if people are there,” Bobby Kerr said, urging all shopowners to join Business Mountmellick.
“Why wouldn’t you for €50? It offers solidarity with other like minded people, if everybody is pulling in the same direction, Mountmellick can thrive, go for it,” he said.
Chairman of Business Mountmellick Tom Horan noted that seven new businesses have opened in the town in the past two weeks.
“I wish them many successful years of trading. We formed last September with 32 members now, and hopefully more tonight,” he said.
Mountmellick painter Con Farrell explained how he has diversified from painting historic houses such as Russborough and Ballyfin House to opening a paint shop.
“There were loads of tradesmen out of work, sitting at home. I thought it wouldn’t be a bad time to open a shop. It has been quite good to us, knowledge is a great thing, a lot of people come for advice,” he said, urging people to “stop thinking we are the forgotten town”.
The site has been designed by local company E Concepts, who have developed Portarlington.ie, and are about to launch Abbeyleix and Camross.
They combine pages for businesses and services, allowing private users to shop, browse events and add friends.