Irish Retail Sales Falter In July, Causing Concern For Sector
Irish retail sales decreased by 0.6% in July, according to data from the Central Statistics Office, but the broader retail trend shows that sales have increased by 3.5% so far this year.
However, Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, has warned that this mid-summer falter is a 'cause for concern', and retailers should not take the continued growth for granted.
"Despite a return to growth in retail sales values, core retail sales, excluding motor trades and bar sales, remain volatile," said Thomas Burke, director of Retail Ireland.
"While there may be a perception that all is well again in the retail sector, much of the current growth is being driven by deep discounting in shops and ongoing sales activity. Such prolonged discounting, while necessary in the current uncertain consumer market, is undoubtedly draining profits for retailers."
Retail Ireland says that the current environment makes it difficult for retailers to take positive investment decisions, especially with continuing uncertainty due to Brexit and currency fluctuations.
"There is now a real fear that retailers and consumers will adopt a wait and see approach to major spending decisions for the remainder of 2017 and beyond," said Burke.
However, he added that there are still opportunities for retailers to boost sales at this time of year.
"Despite the dark clouds on the horizon, retailers remain hopeful that the current back to school period can inject some positivity into the market and enable a strong performance in the second half of the year."
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.