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Survey Finds Close To Half Of Retailers Are 'Disillusioned' With Government Performance

Published on Sep 15 2014 2:44 PM

Survey Finds Close To Half Of Retailers Are 'Disillusioned' With Government Performance

With the Dáil returning this Thursday, a study has found that one in two retailers are unsure whether the Government is ‘on the right track’ when it comes to reviving the economy.

Ahead of the Food & Hospitality Ireland trade expo, which takes place at the Citywest Events Centre on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Food & Hospitality Ireland teamed up with Checkout magazine and the CSNA to survey the opinions of retailers on the issuing affecting them today.

45% of the 120 retailers surveyed said that they were either ‘not that confident’ or ‘not at all confident’ in the Government’s current strategy. When asked to grade the Government on its performance in assisting Irish retailers, just 1% gave it an ‘A’ with the majority of retailers scoring the Government’s performance ‘C’ (41%) or ‘D’ (32%).

The survey also sought to determine how changes to current tobacco and alcohol legislation could affect their business. An overwhelming 69% of retailers would support a Government decision to prohibit below-cost selling of alcohol products.

On proposed ‘plain packaging’ legislation for tobacco products, retailers were split on what the biggest knock-on effect would be, should such measures be introduced. 26% of respondents said that ‘it will have no effect on tobacco consumption’, whilst 23% said that ‘consumers will switch to more illicit tobacco’. 22% said that switching to cheaper tobacco brands will become more commonplace. 13% of retailers said that plain packaging will be beneficial, with consumers smoking less.

When asked about a potential ‘fat tax’ on sugary or fatty foods, again opinions were divided. 41% of retailers said that they would support the idea of a ‘fat tax’, 54% would not support one. Reflecting this, when commenting on how a ‘fat tax’ would affect business, 20% said that it would be positive, with 45% saying that a ‘fat tax’ would have a negative impact and 35% predicting ‘no change’.

Finally, 83% of retailers said that the Government is NOT doing enough to encourage the banking sector to lend to Irish retailers.

“Retailers have shown through this survey that they are very concerned that some of the policies that the Government are pursuing will have negative consequences for a sector that is a significant employer," said Vincent Jennings, Chief Executive of the CSNA. “Without doubt, the greatest level of discontent is evidenced in retailers’ views on the banking sector. The inability of the State to ensure SMEs are dealt with fairly will continue to be one of our greatest concerns.”

The Food & Hospitality Ireland trade expo takes place on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th September, at the Citywest Events Centre, Dublin. Included in the feature programme is the first-ever Profit Shop, in association with the CSNA and the Craft Butchers, which has been created to deliver practical advice for retailers on how they can make their businesses more profitable.

Organised by Fresh Montgomery, 115 companies will be showcasing innovative products and solutions at Food & Hospitality Ireland, and over 2,500 visitors from the food, retail and hospitality sectors are expected to attend. Trade only, doors open at 10am daily. To pre-register attendance, visit www.foodhospitality.ie  Visitors can also register for free at the show entrance.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones

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