ISME has said that the government's failure to address shortcomings in the Irish retail trade could lead to the "outright decimation of the sector", and threaten the some 25,000 jobs of those employed in the industry.
ISME chief executive Mark Fielding made the statement in response to the latest CSO retail sales figures, issued last week, which it said showed 'a continued downward pressure on prices and margins'.
“Christmas sales improved, but not to the levels predicted by the ‘big retailer’ associations and less than hoped for by SMEs, to salvage a very difficult year," he said.
"The recovery has yet to be felt by our domestic retailers and jobs continue to be at risk in this sector. This Government seems to be too busy focusing on the upcoming election to consider the problems being faced by local shops and communities and town centres, which will suffer as a result.”
ISME warned of a 'challenging year ahead' for the retail trade, with "low consumer confidence set to continue while the labour intensive sector is endeavouring to overcome uncompetitive costs and is ignored by our election focused politicians."
It called on the government to address issues such as excessive retail business costs, the need for a Code of Practice and the lack of bank credit available for retail SMEs.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones