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REI: Grocery Market Sales Drop In Q1

The latest Retail Industry Sales Review from Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) for Q1 2014 has found that like-for-like sales in the grocery industry were down marginally (-0.36%) in the first quarter of the year. Grocery sales were up 0.76% in January, the study found, however, this was followed by two consecutive periods of sales declines, with February sales down 0.87%, and March sales down 0.42%. Across all retail channels, sales were up marginally for the quarter (+0.15%), with January sales up 1.72%, February sales declining by 1.95% and March sales up 0.62%. Diverse weather conditions helped lift sales of Hot Beverages, which were up 5.76% for the quarter, however Pharmacy sales were down 4.02% "The first quarter of 2014 proved a challenging trading period for the Irish retail industry," said REI chief executive David Fitzsimons. "The quarter commenced with a robust January (+1.72%), predominantly due to Christmas demand being postponed into the January sales period, especially for fashion and home categories. "The growth trend did not last long with February recording like for like declines of -1.95%, not helped by adverse weather conditions at the start of the month. March 2014 traded slightly ahead of March 2013 at +0.62%, however, of concern is the fact that trading in March 2013 was very weak due to adverse weather conditions. Thus in relative terms March 2014 trading is very disappointing and was most likely undermined by the introduction of the Local Property Tax." Fitzsimons added that there are signs that a 'trading gap' is emerging between Dublin and the rest of the country.

   

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