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Retail Summit 2016 Warns Of ‘External Pressures’

Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, is hosting the sector’s major annual conference in the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin. The summit will discuss the pressure retail recovery is under as the Christmas period looms, as well as continued threats from Brexit and the need fro budget support.

The Retail Summit brings together the country’s top retailers and this year will be addressed by renowned futurist and author Patrick Dixon, Musgrave CEO Chris Martin and Tony Wheeler, Head of Branch, Peter Jones – John Lewis.

Addressing the Summit, Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke intends to remark: “The retail sector is only getting back on its feet following the crisis years. Total employment in the economy is 10% higher than it was four years ago, but retail employment is only 2% higher. This emerging recovery is now vulnerable. Despite intense retail competition and falling prices, Brexit has unnerved consumers and currency pressures risk sending shoppers north of the border or online. Retailers are doing everything within their power to facedown the challenge and ensure prices stay low, but the government has a crucial role to play. “

Mr. Burke will also address the increasing challenge of intense online competition, which has been heightened by currency movements. “Online retail is an increasingly important channel, with over 50% of Irish consumers having made an online purchase in the past 12 months. In 2015 the total value of online purchases by Irish consumers was €9.1 billion, with clothes, sporting goods and books the most popular items purchased.

“The Irish online retail offering has improved significantly over recent years on foot of major investment. Despite this, over 70% of total online sales revenue leaves the State. The emergence of other sales platforms in recent years such as click and collect and home delivery has greatly increased convenience for consumer, but has proven logistically and financially challenging for Irish retailers.”

With over 200 senior retail executives expected again this year, the Retail Ireland Summit provides an excellent opportunity to get the latest retail trends and updates, network and build industry relationships.

This year’s theme is on omnichannel retailing.

© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Donncha Mac Cóil

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