Retail Ireland Pleased With Growth But Cautious Of Inconsistencies
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector in Ireland, has welcomed the continued growth in retail sales, as shown in April sales numbers released by the country's Central Statistics Office.
It did, however, highlight that the ‘uneven nature’ of the performance across the retail categories reflected an uncertain outlook amongst Irish consumers.
Retail sales values, excluding bars and car sales, increased by 3.3% on the same period in 2016, building on value growth of over 3% in the first four months of 2017. This was helped greatly by the Easter period falling later than usual.
The figures also reported strong volume growth across the retail sector, with sales volumes increasing 6.5% compared to 2016.
Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: “The first four months of 2017 has seen strong growth in certain retail categories, and this is reflected in the headline numbers, but that positive performance is by no means consistent across all retail categories, with some retailers reporting a significant decline in trade in recent months.
“Strong growth in some categories is in fact masking anaemic growth, and in some cases decline, in key retail categories and certain retailers are becoming increasingly anxious about weak trade levels."
Mr Burke continued to comment about how retail sales have become “increasingly erratic” in recent months, making it difficult for retailers to accurately plan and forecast suture performances.
He added, “With ongoing uncertainty over the impact of global geopolitical events such as Brexit and changed US foreign policy, along with fluctuating currency markets, retailers will likely have to continue to operate in an uncertain environment over the coming months."
© 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.