Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) has commented on the latest retail sales data from the Central Statistics Office, saying that it again indicates that Ireland’s retail business environment remains challenging.
REI deputy chief executive Seán Murphy says that the data is in accord with its more recent quarterly sales review, which shows that retail sales softened as the first quarter of 2015 progressed.
“Annualized growth of retail sales volume, excluding motor trades, was 4.7%. Annualised retail sales value, which is a much more important figure in determining retailer capacity for any cost increases, increased by only 1.2% when motor trades are excluded,” he explained.
He added that, “This underlines why retailers remain extremely cautious about hiring new staff and very concerned regarding talk of any mandated wage increases in the absence of a stronger recuperation in the domestic economy.”
Murphy went on the comment that the Irish retail industry operates in a high cost environment, while serving households that continue to struggle with debt.
“Until consumers have more money in their pockets, and retailers can operate in a more cost effective environment, sales will remain flat and job growth in the sector will remain soft,” he concluded.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.