Retail Ireland has welcomed the continued growth in retail sales, shown by the May sales numbers released by the CSO yesterday, 28 June.
Retail sales values, excluding bars and car sales, grew by 3.7% in the year to the end of May, indicating strong performance over the first five months of 2016.
Furthermore, there was also strong volume growth across the retail sector in the year to the end of May, with sales volumes increasing 6.6% in the last 12 months.
However, the group says that this strong momentum should not be taken for granted and that threats to continued growth remain, especially in the context of Brexit.
Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke commented, “Retail sales have been robust in recent months with sustained growth across most of the major retail categories.
"There is, however, significant concern within the sector at the potential impact that last week's decision by the UK to leave the European Union will have on the retail trade over the coming months."
He went on to says that the most obvious short-term impact is most likely to come in the form of the potential return of cross border trade, due to the devaluation of Sterling against the euro.
"This will inevitably have an impact on retailers in the border area,” said Burke, adding that, “The other major concern in the short-term is the impact this political and economic uncertainty may have on consumer sentiment.
"After a number of very difficult years for the retail trade, anything which serves to cause consumers to question retail purchases is a major worry for the sector."
He concluded by saying that, “Given recent developments, Government must now do all in its power to address this increasing cost base for Irish retailers and ensure rising costs don't out strip growth in this crucial part of the Irish economy."
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan