According to Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), the latest retail sales data from the Central Statistics Office(CSO) shows that consumers are benefitting from aggressive retailer discounting resulting in falling prices, while retail sales on both volume and value are rising.
The year-on-year increase comes as a surprise to experts, as it follows on from anecdotal evidence of consumers swapping scarce discretionary spending to secure lifetime community health insurance deals before the deadline expired.
REI Deputy Chief Executive Seán Murphy commented that the data positive, although the fact that they are not increasing at the same rate demonstrates that retailers are continuing to cut prices to attract footfall.
He noted that, "Annualized growth of retail sales volume, excluding motor trades, was 7.8%. Annualised retail sales value increased by only 4%—when motor trades are excluded."
"Consumers are still stretching their spend to secure value. This is understandable given the hits to take home pay over the past eight years as Government has sought to ‘balance the books.’
"But the reality is that our 23pc VAT rate is one of the highest in the OECD and takes more money from households than any water charges ever shall. Retailers have had to address these realities by continuing to discount. The Government needs to recognise their pain by reducing costs pressures on the industry," he concluded.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.