Kinsale Bookshop, Whitefawn Boutique (Clonakilty), Manning’s Emporium (Bantry), The Old Mill Stores (Leap) and Wild Side Sports (Bandon) have all made it to the much-coveted shortlist of The Irish Times Best Shops in Ireland. This countrywide search sponsored by AIB Merchant Services, seeks to find Ireland’s favourite retailers as voted by their customers.
Each of the local shops have been selected from an incredible 28,000 nominations submitted by the public. Orna Mulcahy Editor of The Irish Times Saturday Magazine commented about the competition “Over the summer we put the question to our readers — Tell us about your favourite shops. We were overwhelmed by the response from readers who nominated shops they love across 10 different categories including boutiques and salons, artisan food shops and cafes, bookstores and specialist shops. Whether it’s cupcakes or hardware, flowers or fish, a designer suit or a cut of beef – our readers told us where to find the best, and why they go back to a shop time and time again.”
The nomination process was overseen by our expert panel of judges, made up of six well-known industry figures with decades of retail experience between them. MD of Avoca Simon Pratt, retail, fashion and homewares consultant Eddie Shanahan, fashion designers Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney, Irish Times journalist Alanna Gallagher and Robert Doherty of AIB Merchant Services.
Now it’s down to the judging panel, helped by a team of secret shoppers, to select the winners.
The winners will be announced in The Irish Times Magazine on September 6.
The Irish Times Best Shops, now in its third year, recognises the important part shops play in the community– both rural and urban. The full list of shortlisted shops is available on www.irishtimes.com/bestshops.