The latest retail sales data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for the last two months underlines the fact that so-called 'aggressive' discounting is driving sales volumes, according to industry body Retail Excellence Ireland.
The data from the CSO, accounting for the period from the 28th of December 2014 to the 23rd of January 2015, may suggest that while volume is up significantly year on year, the value is not tracking volume.
REI Deputy Chief Executive Seán Murphy has called this particular trend “disappointing” and that, “it shows once again that many parts of the country are still struggling.”
Murphy explained, “Annualized growth of retail sales volume, excluding motor trades was 4.8%, while the annualised value only increased by 0.9% excluding motor trades. This illustrates the impact of the aggressive discounting consumers availed of both pre and post-Christmas. This discounting continued into January.”
He added, “It also shows why retailers are extremely nervous about any talk of wage increases in the absence of a broad-based recovery in the domestic economy”.
Murphy urged retailers not to become complacent and reminded them of their dependence on the hospitality industry, “The domestic economy is slowly recuperating but not at the rates and levels that we would all like. Hospitality also supports retail and leisure businesses across the country. This must be retained to maintain these businesses and the jobs they generate.”
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Hannah Popham.