Quarter 2 Retail Sales Marginally Up, But Outlook Remains A Concern

Today Retail Excellence published its Quarter 2 Retail Productivity Review. The report compiles data from 4,500 stores across the State including sales figures from data analysist company GfK.

The report dives into sales data from nineteen sectors within the Irish Retail Industry.

Commenting on the report David Fitzsimons, Group Chief Executive, Retail Excellence said: “Quarter 2 2019 proved a very mixed period for Retail. A number of sectors traded like for like down. Trading was boosted over the period due to a very robust performance in Grocery, helped in turn by a sustained period of clement weather. Some sectors and especially Consumer Electronics were up against a hard like for like target recorded in 2018 when the World Cup was hosted. A number of discretionary sectors traded down over the period including Jewellery and Lingerie. Home related categories traded like for like up, helped by a resurgence in house building activity. Overall growth rates in the Irish Retail Industry are declining, principally due to Brexit and eroding consumer sentiment. The outlook for the coming months is of significant concern.”

The report is prepared in conjunction with leading accountancy advisors Grant Thornton.

Economist at Grant Thornton Andrew Webb said “The pace of growth in like for like sales has fallen considerably between quarter 1 and quarter 2, suggesting an air of caution among consumers. On a positive note, the monthly performance figures for May and June (at close to 2% each) were markedly improved on the April figure of 0.35%. The next set of performance figures will be crucial to see if this quarter’s slower pace of growth takes hold or represents a pause for breath among consumers. Stand out performances this quarter were found in Furniture and flooring sales, which recovered well from a decline in April. This may reflect some release of pent up demand as consumers waited for a Brexit that didn’t come and reflect a higher pace in housing transactions. Growth in online retail continued on its double-digit growth path. Online sales in Q2 were almost 16% ahead of the same period a year ago, adding to the pressure on traditional bricks and mortar retailers.”

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