There was an annual increase of 4.3% in the volume of retail sales in Ireland during May compared with the same month last year, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The recently published report showed that seasonally adjusted, the volume of retail sales increased by 0.1% in the month of May.
Speaking with Checkout, Lorraine Higgins, CEO, Retail Excellence said: “The increases in retail sales is a welcome development but the figures do not translate to profits for the industry.
"Retailers are now investing heavily in advertising to offset external competition particularly from online and the increase in cross-border shopping. This obviously has a knock on impact on margins”.
Excluding Motor Trades
If Motor Trades are excluded, the report outlined, there was an increase of 1.5% in the volume of retail sales in May 2018 when compared with April 2018 and there was an increase of 4.7% in the annual figure.
"It must also be noted that with the exclusion of the sales of motor vehicles the sales figures increases are much more modest which underlines the fragility of the industry despite record numbers back at work“.
The report showed that businesses fared well and showed an annual increase of 4.6%.
Other sectors with a large monthly volume increases includes hardware, paints and glass (8.9%), and books, newspapers and stationery (4.3%).
“Undoubtedly, there are huge opportunities for Irish retail to grow and thrive if the industry is better supported and measures are introduced in Budget 2019 for the 42,000 retail businesses in the country.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.