Irish retail sales have grown by 4.1% in value during the third quarter of the year, helping to partially offset growing fears regarding increasing input costs, according to Retail Ireland.
The group, which represents the Irish retail sector, says that most retail categories experienced an increase in performance during this period.
"2017 has so far proven to be a relatively strong year for the Irish retail sector," said Thomas Burke, director of Retail Ireland.
"However, the benefit of these growing sales is largely being eroded by an increase to rent in many prime retail locations, rising labour costs and increasing utility costs," he added. "For some in the sector there is a palpable sense of running to stand still."
Supermarkets and convenience stores experienced growth in the quarter, suggesting that shoppers are trading up rather than taking savings from food deflation, while sales in department stores were up by 2.6%.
Retail Ireland says that the strong retail sales figures will drive confidence ahead of the key Christmas shopping period, but the next quarter could be "make or break" for many retailers.
"Retailers are now looking forward to a busy Christmas period and have a legitimate expectation of an improved performance on last year, as pay increases and tax cuts help boost the consumer mood and increase spending power," added Burke.
"The coming 8-week period will make or break the year for many retailers, with some doing over 30% of their annual trade in this period. Retailers are hopeful that this positive momentum can be carried into the crucial end of year trading period.”
© 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.