Senator Feargal Quinn is back in town today to revisit Burgess of Athlone, almost two years after the department store took part in the TV programme Feargal Quinn’s Retail Therapy.
The retail innovator originally visited Burgess in 2009 when he advised store owner and manager Rosie Boles on a dramatic refurbishment of the store, and is now back with the cameras to see how his advice has impacted on Ireland’s longest established department store.
Owner Rosie Boles is looking forward to the visit, and is hopeful that Senator Quinn will be impressed at the developments which have taken place in the store and the high standards which have been maintained since his visit.
“I think it upped our game hugely. Since the programme was recorded we have tried to maintain the standards. We are now doing a twice-yearly in-store magazine, the first of which was launched to coordinate with the programme being aired, and we are very proud of our website,” says Ms Boles.
“Our internal signage was also a big issue; we have maintained and improved this, and now we have a very clean, manageable look. [Senator Quinn] also had issue with the window displays, and we are continuing to maintain these to a high standard.
“We have revamped the homeware area so that will be something completely new for the cameras.”
Ms Boles says the store is still feeling the positive effects of taking part in the programme.
“The programme was always about championing independent retailers. It has been very positive for Burgess; people are still coming in and saying they saw us on TV and it is getting people in the doors.”
While it is a difficult time for any business, Ms Boles says Burgess is adapting to the changes in the way people are spending their money.
“Business is tricky - people are thinking long and hard before they spend money. They are looking for investment pieces, an outfit to see them through a number of occasions. We have always felt quality is where it’s at, so from that point of view Burgess is in the right place,” she says.
Senator Feargal Quinn and the RTÉ camera crew will be filming for the new TV series of Feargal Quinn’s Retail Therapy in Burgess of Athlone this Friday from 2.30pm.