David and Stephen Flynn from The Happy Pear started out their business ten years ago with a grocer's shop in Greystones. The venture has grown, first with a café and health food shop, then a second one, and then a sprout and wheatgrass farm. They're also partners in a plum and cherry farm. With around 50 employees, they will deliver a multi-million euro turnover this year.
We're in the middle of the busiest month for retailers. Around the country people are ordering their turkeys, stocking up on presents, and pushing their way through crowds. In the midst of all of that, are the shop assistants. Liam Geraghty has been finding out about the hazards and hassles that they have to suffer on the front line of the battle that is Christmas shopping.
If our retail assistants are having a tough time, what about the suppliers who are doing their best to get their stock on the shelves? In recent years there have been brussel sprout wars, meat industry disputes, and a stream of stories about the big multiples shafting their suppliers. What's the day-to-day reality like on the ground? Thomas Burke, director of Retail Ireland, and agri-food economist Ciaran Fitzgerald discuss.
There has been a big pickup in the amount of internet shopping we're doing in recent years, but if this trend continues what impact will it have on our local stores? To discuss whether drones will replace delivery men or whether robots will replace retailers, Sonya Lennon founder of Frockadvisor and Patrick Leddy, founder of Pulsate, joined Richard in studio.
We have already heard about the trials and tribulations of shop staff, but there are plenty of other workers for whom Christmas is the busiest time of the year. Earlier this week we took a trip to An Post's Mail Centre in Dublin, where we met the staff who are handling our mountains of seasonal mail.
Keeping with the theme of retail, Richard was joined by a man who reveals all about the art of getting a bargain. Colm Carey is a consumer psychologist, director of market research firm The Research Institute, and a champion haggler...