And for one award winning Northern Ireland artisan food retailer, fibre broadband is driving business growth both locally and across the globe.
As consumers gear up for Christmas, Nick Lestas, Director of multi-award winning artisan foodhall, Teahouse & Brewbar, The Good Food & Wine Company, has cited fibre broadband as a key source of growth for his business.
After opening a pop-up store in Victoria Square Belfast in late 2014, the business secured permanent new premises at Queen’s Arcade Belfast earlier this year and business is booming. Nick says: “Days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday have now become an important focus for shoppers both here and abroad. Last year we saw a real spike in online activity on Cyber Monday and this year we are expecting an increase of over 20% over the course of 24 hours. As a small business this makes a significant impact on our bottom line and helps us to weather the anticipated post-Christmas downturn that always comes in January and early February.
“This year we’ll be running special promotions and ensuring we can take advantage of the boom in online sales. Our online sales grew by 20% in the last year and we increased our customer base serving markets in Ireland North and South, the rest of the UK as well as further afield in Europe and Scandinavia. Our local Belfast foodhall cannot possibly cater to these International markets and the only way we can market to them in a sustained and regular way is online.
“Our business wouldn’t be where it is today without fibre broadband – it makes it easier for us to reach new markets via our website and target new customers locally, nationally and internationally via social media.”
Frank McManus, head of wholesale sales and services, BT Northern Ireland said: “We understand the importance of connectivity to economic growth. Our fibre broadband network now covers more than 93% of the population in Northern Ireland enabling consumers and businesses to enjoy all the benefits of fast, reliable fibre broadband which this week for many will be shopping online while local retailers can also benefit by securing their share of online sales.”
Anyone interested in getting fibre broadband can choose from a wide range of broadband packages from thirty different service providers who use BT’s open access fibre network. For more information on availability, speed, benefits and how to get connected visit www.nibroadband.com
MAIN PIC: Nick and Michelle Lestas (pictured), Directors of multi-award winning artisan foodhall, Teahouse & Brewbar, The Good Food & Wine Company