Retail Ireland (RI), the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, has said that figures from the CSO demonstrate that sales are beginning to recover after years of decline.
The Retail Sales Index shows that the value of sales, excluding motor and bar sales, rose by 2.5% compared with June last year. The volume of those sales rose by 4.5%, highlighting a trend that shows retailers are continuing to cut prices to drive custom.
Retail Ireland Director Stephen Lynam said that the figures for the month of June showed that there were annual increases in sales in car dealerships, supermarkets, petrol stations, clothes stores and electrical outlets. Additionally, furniture stores saw a huge 16% rise in the value of their sales, indicating movement in the property market.
He said, “These increases were offset somewhat by falls in department stores, specialist food stores like butchers and bakeries, and in hardware outlets. A pattern of sales growth in 2014 has clearly emerged. While many sectors of retail remain in difficulty, sales overall have risen every month for the first half of the year, with second quarter growth, excluding motor sales, of over 2%, up from last year.”
Lynam said that this growth should not be taken for granted and that the Government very wisely included retail in their recently published list of priorities. “We support calls from Ibec and others to give money back to consumers through reductions in income tax in the October budget. It is the best way to nurture growth in the domestic economy," he said.