‘We worked long hours in Partas to grow business’

GIFTS.IE have recently expanded by moving into a custom built 1,100 sq m (12,000 sq. foot) premises in Ballymount Drive.

The popular business has come a long way, since it was started by three Tallaght brothers in a small Partas premises in 2004.

Joe Birchall Gifts 10

Brothers John, Joseph and Anthony Birchall first developed the concept for their online gift delivery service, in a rented room at the Partas on Main Street for €50 per week.

After two years of hard graft, the concept began to grow and they moved to Robinhood Industrial Estate.

Today, the company employ 15 staff, with up to 40 seasonal staff to cater for demand.

Their website is one of the first sites a person sees when they Google ‘gifts’.

Gifts.ie Operations Director Joseph Birchall concedes they had an optimistic outlook when they began their journey in 2004.

“The internet was still very much in its infancy. Hard to believe that we survived in a world without smartphones, Facebook or Instagram,” said Joseph.

“Each brother worked fulltime at other careers, but we worked long hours in Partas to grow the business.”

After two years, the trio gave up their other jobs to concentrate fully on Gifts.ie.

“We’ve certainly had our ups and downs in the last thirteen years,” said Joseph.

“After the crash in 2008, almost all of our corporate customers stopped ordering. We were lucky to get through those lean years, but it taught us many important lessons.”

The company began to switch its focus from large corporate orders (B2B) to individual customers (B2C).

“We hoped that we could strengthen the business for the future on the basis of supporting its growth through thousands of small orders rather than hundreds of large orders.”

This strategy has enabled Gifts.ie to grow exponentially over the last seven years.

 “We invested heavily in our own personalisation equipment and technology, engraving and embroidering machines, printers, sublimation, sandblasting equipment etc. Our USP is that anything ordered before 4pm will be shipped that day for next day delivery. That includes all of our over two thousand gifts available online.

“Personalised cards have been a fantastic addition to our website. We teamed up with a local company Printzware to produce high quality cards that can be personalised and dispatched straight away. The cards cost €3.99 with €1 for shipping. “

‘We don’t deal in vouchers or ship gifts for any third-party companies. All our gifts are personalised and packed in-house, so if a problem arises we can deal with it immediately. Customer service and satisfaction is our highest priority.’

Ten years ago, Birchall says name brands were “coy and distrusting of our business model”, but “now every week companies contact us and ask us to put their products on our site.”

“We plan on continuing to grow slowly and steadily over the next ten years. In 2016, only 52 per cent of premises in Ireland had access to high-speed broadband. As that figure grows, so too will our customer base. We are extremely optimistic about the future of gifts.ie. As optimistic as our first order in that tiny room thirteen years ago.”

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