Retail sales figures in the fourth quarter of last year have shown an increase, despite a fall in footfall, research shows.
Sales values grew by 2.7% in the fourth quarter of last year compared to the same period in 2017, hitting the pre-Christmas industry growth targets, according to the latest Retail Monitor report, which was recently published by Retail Ireland
The report shows, however, also highlight growing concerns in the sector around declining footfall and a gradual softening in consumer sentiment and spending.
"The fourth quarter of 2018, and the Christmas period in particular, has further emphasised the dramatic shift in shopping patterns that is underway in Ireland at present,” Thomas Burke, Director, Retail Ireland stated.
The report does, however, also highlight growing concerns in the sector around declining footfall and a gradual softening in consumer sentiment and spending.
“While sales values held up reasonably well, there is consensus in the sector that footfall levels in traditional shopping hot spots are continuing to decline,” he said.
Burke highlighted that this is largely as a result of a move to online shopping by Irish consumers and changing consumer shopping patterns.
“Retailers have reacted to that move and are now offering an increasingly compelling proposition in this space,” he said.
The monitor also reveals that sales in December, historically the biggest shopping month of the year, grew by a mere 0.4% when compared to figures in November.
Deep discounting and promotional events in early November are central determinants of this low growth, according to the Ibec group’s report.
“2019 is likely to be a challenging year for the Irish retail sector, with ongoing structural shifts requiring the industry to rethink its traditional approach,” Burke added.
Allied to this, Brexit impacts will likely require the reimagining of supply chains and depending on negotiations over the coming weeks, could impact consumer spending power.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.