Irish Retail sales values grew by 2.4% in the second quarter of 2019, while sales volumes grew by 4.1% in the same period, demonstrating steady, if unspectacular growth, research shows.
The major influencers of sales performance in this period were the relatively wet and cool summer weather, which is in stark contrast to the summer of 2018 when Ireland experienced hot and balmy conditions, according to Retail Ireland's, latest quarterly Retail Monitor.
“While, fortunately, there were no majorly disruptive weather events so far this year, it is the non-appearance of any meaningful warm spell of weather that has been the major influencer of retail sales so far this summer," said Thomas Burke Director of Retail Ireland.
"As the country sizzled in the sustained spell of warm weather in 2018, retailers experienced a significant uptick in sales. This has not been matched in 2019 and many retail categories are struggling to replicate 2018’s performance as a result.”
Supermarkets and convenience stores
Members report strong value and volume growth for the six months to June 2019 compared to the same period last year.
However, month on month the sector is showing a fall between May and June 2019, and between June 2019 and June 2018, the research showed.
While poorer than expected weather was a contributory factor, falling consumer confidence levels in advance of Brexit 'could also be starting to bite'.
The other major trend emerging from the monitor is the impact of Brexit-related concerns on consumer sentiment and fears around economic overheating.
The Ibec group that represents the sector highlighted that the report also reflects the impact Brexit related concerns have had on retail sales in the first half of the year.
“After a brief respite during late spring and early summer from almost saturation levels of Brexit coverage in the first quarter of the year, we are now again entering into a further period of intense Brexit debate ahead of the October 31st deadline." Burke added.
"The trajectory of consumer sentiment has matched this public concern with an initial recovery over the late spring and summer period now subsiding as consumers begin to reflect once more on how Brexit might impact their personal finances. This has led to a softening in sales and is a cause for concern as the sector looks toward its busiest period of the year.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.