This year, Checkout commemorates its 40th anniversary under its current ownership, and with this in mind, every week, Retail Intelligence is going to ‘reel in the years’ and publish a story from our extensive archives. This article from March 2009 reflects on the effect that the recession had on convenience stores across Ireland.
Irish convenience retailers are feeling the brunt of the recession, with new research showing that over 80% of c-store retailers have seen a year-on-year decline in business, and 45% stating that sales are down over 20%.
A Checkout poll, conducted with FMI, spoke to 100 c-store retailers last month in an in-depth analysis of how the convenience sector is performing in the economic slowdown. The poll found 12% of retailers had experienced a hit of more than 30% in like-for-like sales, with just 18% saying that their business was stronger now compared with this time in 2008.
Deli is the hardest hit category, with 34% saying that sales in this area were down. Tobacco sales were also down for many retailers, giving further evidence to the tobacco companies’ assertions that black market sales are decimating not only their business but also the mainstream retail sector.
18% of retailers also said that they had started to purchase goods outside of the Republic of Ireland, with some having been directly approached by UK-based suppliers and others taking it upon themselves to link in with Northern Ireland or British-based agents.
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