This year, Checkout commemorates its 40th anniversary under its current owners, 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 news item from October 2001 discusses the anticipated impact that the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York would have on the Irish economy.
The director of the Small Firms Association has said that the attacks on New York and Washington on September 11 will have ‘devastating’ effects on the Irish economy. “Every business in the country – large, small and medium will be affected. Airlines in particular have been hit extremely hard – Aer Lingus, which is a significant economic unit, has already had 25% cut-backs.”
Delaney maintains that this will have knock-on effects for many smaller companies who depend on Irish airlines. “Businesses who make uniforms, cutlery, and the suppliers of other services like transport and taxis will all experience falls in business because of this. Ireland has already experienced a 14% decline in tourism because of Foot & Mouth – that’s an estimated £500 million loss. This however pales in comparison to the US situation.”
Delaney opines that the only way around this is for Ireland to refocus its attention to Europe. He has also called for a high level diplomatic offensive in the US, and a reduction in the cost of landing fees in Ireland for airlines.
Other commentators feel that it is too early to fully assess the implications for Ireland. Brian Geoghegan, director of economic affairs, IBEC, said; “Our focus in this country should now be very firmly on sustaining competitiveness. It is premature to evaluate with any certainty the combined effect of the slowdown already happening with the economic consequences of terrorism. Generalised talk of the need for emergency measures take no account of the underlying strength of the economy and other major sectors of business.”
RGDATA’s Ailish Forde voiced her concerns to Checkout, over the implications for the Irish economy. Like Brian Geoghegan of IBEC, she feels that the true impact cannot be realised so soon.
“I think that it is too early to say what the impact will be on the economy. There is a great deal of uncertainty because Ireland is a country that holds a lot of American investments.
“It really depends on the US recovery, and to what extent it can recover, but certainly in the first six months, it’s too early to tell. There was an amount of uncertainty creeping into the economy anyway, regardless, Ireland wouldn’t have been able to sustain the growth that we’ve experienced in the last ten years indefinitely.”