Retail sales values grew by 3.9% in the third quarter of the year compared to the same period in 2017, giving rise to positivity as retailers approach the crucial Christmas period, research shows.
According to Retail Ireland's latest Retail Monitor report all retail categories experienced an increase in performance during the quarter with year to date growth also showing strong growth.
"2018 has been a strange year for the Irish retail sector thus far. Sales values increased across all retail categories in the third quarter of this year, with full year increases also recorded," Thomas Burke stated, director, Retail Ireland.
"However, while the continued upward trajectory in sales is welcome, the peaky nature of the sales patterns has made it difficult for retailers in terms of business planning and from a store operations perspective."
The Ibec group that represents the sector the Irish economy growing at close to 9%, the challenge now for retailers will be to carry this momentum into the key Christmas trading period and realise a greater share of the growing levels of disposable income.
"With wage growth running at 3% and increases in consumer disposable income of 4.4%, retailers feel they are not getting their fair share of that uplift with greater levels of spend now going towards other sectors of the economy including the hospitality industries," Burke noted.
“The upcoming 8-week period will make or break the year for many retailers, with some doing over 30% of their annual trade in this period. Retailers are hopeful that this positive momentum can be carried into the crucial end of year trading period.”
Supermarkets and Convenience Stores
The report showed that the long hot summer was a major boost for convenience stores but there was evidence that the extra spend across the summer led to some belt tightening in September itself. Some evidence of premium products and treats over indexing in the sales recovery, a bellwether for the stronger economy.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.