Granite Digital acquires Dublin e-commerce specialist Willows Consulting

23 May 2022

Willows Consulting founder Sean Owens and Granite Digital CEO Conor Buckley. Image: Adrian O’Herlihy Photography

Cork-based Granite Digital said the deal will boost its e-commerce capabilities while adding 120 customers to its growing client portfolio.

Granite Digital has acquired Willows Consulting, an e-commerce web development specialist based in Dublin, as the Irish digital agency continues its growth strategy.

As part of the deal, Willows Consulting will become a wholly owned subsidiary within the Granite Digital Group.

Founded in Dublin in 2002 by Sean Owens and Aine Williams, Willows Consulting offers e-commerce website design and development services. Some of its clients include the National Gallery of Ireland, Bord Na Móna, CityJet, Fexco and the FAI.

Granite said the acquisition will strengthen its e-commerce capabilities, while adding 120 customers from Ireland, the UK, the US and Asia to its growing client list.

Willows Consulting’s open-source technologies integrate with a wide range of B2B and B2C e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, PrestaShop, Magento, OpenCart and BigCommerce.

“We’re on a fantastic journey at Willows, delivering over 500 highly successful e-commerce projects for our customers over the past two decades,” Owens said.

“By joining forces with Granite, it gives us the scale and expertise to grow at pace and provide our customers with an even wider range of e-commerce and digital transformation services.”

Cork-based Granite said it has delivered more than a thousand web projects for companies and institutions in Ireland since it was founded in 2009. Some of its clients include Lidl, Dalata Hotel Group, Bord Bia and Huawei.

The digital agency said it is planning further acquisitions as part of its ongoing growth strategy. Granite forecasts its revenue to increase by 25pc to €9m this year, after reaching an annual turnover of €7.3m in 2021.

In 2020, Granite announced plans to create 50 new jobs at its Dublin, Cork and Galway offices, with the aim of growing its team to 100 people over a three-year period. The digital agency has hired 20 staff over the past last year, expanding its headcount to 80.

“Willows Consulting brings 20 years of e-commerce expertise and deep relationships with an impressive customer base from across Ireland, the UK and further afield,” Granite Digital CEO Conor Buckley said.

“We’re delighted they have joined the Granite Digital Group as we further reinforce our position as Ireland’s largest independent digital agency.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic