Irish Retail Sales On The Rise, But Volume A Cause For Concern
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group representing the sector, has welcomed the strong growth in Irish retail sales, but has raised concern over the increasing disparity between sales and volume growth.
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) retail figures for May reveal that Irish retailers need to sell twice as much product than in previous years to secure a similar return.
Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke said, "Retail sales patterns in recent months have been erratic, but one consistent feature has been the disparity between the rate of growth in sales volumes and sales values".
“Retail sales values, excluding bars and car sales, increased by 4% in May when compared to the same period in 2016, whereas sales volumes rose by almost twice that amount in the same period, at 7.8%.”
Retail Ireland report that this disparity is mainly due to the discounting culture which has developed in the Irish market over recent years.
It says that prices are now back at 2009 levels, which has caused input costs to increase significantly. However, the group is optimistic that as consumers continue to avail of the value in stores, it will be beneficial to retailers.
"The positive performance by the sector in May is most welcome, and on the basis of these numbers, retailers can now have cause for real optimism that Ireland's strong economic performance of the last 12 months will finally translate into increased sales at their tills," said Burke.
Retail Ireland had a similar response to April’s figures, as the group was concerned over the ‘uneven nature’ of the performance, despite continued growth in the country.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.