The second quarter of 2019 proved to be a ‘very mixed period’ for retail, according to Retail Excellence.
The group has published its Quarter 2 Retail Productivity Review, which compiles data from 4,500 stores across the State including sales figures from data analysis company GfK.
A Mixed Bag
Commenting on the report David Fitzsimons, Retail Excellence Chief Executive, highlighted that a number of sectors traded down on a like-for-like basis.
Fitzsimons said that trading was boosted over the period due to a very robust performance in Grocery, helped in turn by a sustained period of clement weather.
He added that some sectors, and especially Consumer Electronics, were up against a hard like for like target recorded in 2018 when the World Cup was hosted.
“Overall growth rates in the Irish Retail Industry are declining, principally due to Brexit and eroding consumer sentiment,” Fitzsimons said. “The outlook for the coming months is of significant concern.”
Air Of Caution
The report, which was prepared in conjunction with leading accountancy advisors Grant Thornton, suggested “an air of caution among consumers”, according to Grant Thornton economist Andrew Webb.
“The pace of growth in like for like sales has fallen considerably between the first and second quarters, suggesting an air of caution among consumers,” Webb said.
“On a positive note, the monthly performance figures for May and June (at close to 2% each) were markedly improved on the April figure of 0.35%.”
Webb added that the next set of performance figures will be crucial to see if this quarter’s slower pace of growth takes hold, or represents a pause for breath among consumers.
He highlighted that growth in online retail continued on its double-digit growth path, as sales in the second quarter were almost 16% ahead of the same period a year ago.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.