ISME, The Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, has said that the Government's "lack of coherent policies on retail is leading to absolute distress and disgust among SMEs in the sector".
The association was commenting following the publication of the latest CSO retail figures for May, which showed that value sales, excluding motor trades and bars, fell by 1.2% in May, compared with the same month last year.
“It is time that our government realised that the retail industry is not just a small number of over-dominant grocery multiples; it comprises of every shop and store in every street, village and town," said ISME CEO, Mark Fielding. "Without a clear and properly targeted policy initiative, we will see many more small retail outlets close, leaving the ‘labour-light’ operating model to ‘service’ the customer, with its negative impact on employment, innovation, standard of service and choice for the consumer."
ISME called for the creation of a Retail Strategy Group, comprised of retailers, to advise the government on measures that could be introduced to assist the sector.
"The expertise is available within the sector and the Government should use it, instead of starting another ineffectual ‘talk-tank’," said Fielding. "A fully representative Retail Strategy Group, rather than the milk and watery interdepartmental group proposed, is what is required.”
© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Stephen Wynne-Jones