Jack Quann
Jack Quann

13.11 5 Dec 2020


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Hampers have become an unlikely star of the Christmas shopping season for people who cannot travel home.

A number of companies say they have seen a surge in demand from both consumer and corporate clients.

Mark Loftus is founder of Paddy Box, which specialises in sending care packages around the world.

He told Down to Business the pandemic has seen people thinking more of friends and family.

"It started in March and it was absolutely incredible.

"We're very lucky to be where we are with the business in terms of how it's grown so much".

He said they can see in the notes that people write that they are missing others.

"A credit to Irish people, really, that they're thinking of people abroad, they're thinking of friends and family.

"It's a really difficult time and gifting has really become huge in 2020 as a result of COVID".

"We've seen it just in the notes that people write that people can't come home for holidays, Christmas, any sort of occasions."

"And then obviously people can't go over to visit friends and family and they can't come home at the same time: so it's two-fold.

"And we've just seen an absolutely incredible increase in all of our business, in every sector really".

"We've grown by upwards of 500%, I'd say".

'I really didn't expect the volumes'

Emer Purcell is founder and managing director of Hampers and Co.

She said: "We've never had a year like we have this year.

"It started for us in March - because everybody wanted to send parcels of comfort and joy to loved ones and to work colleagues.

"And to be honest with you it just hasn't stopped since then".

"I did predict there was going to be an increase in sales - and pre-ordered extra packaging, etc.

"But I can tell you I really didn't expect the volumes, because it has been absolutely pheromonal".

She said she has even had to turn down some corporate customers, as they "have to take care of the corporates that we have in now".

And Lulu O'Sullivan is CEO of GiftsDirect.com.

She explained: "When COVID happened first there was a couple of wobbly weeks, and then suddenly it just took off.

"And we could really see the higher the level [of restrictions], the sales got even bigger.

"I've never had a year like it, either".

She said she is very thankful for all the business as "I know what it's like to be on the other side, too".

How hampers are helping the homesick Irish abroad

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

  

Main image: Picture by: The Paddy Box

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