The volume of retail sales decreased by 1.9% in March 2021 when compared to February 2021, research showed.
According to data published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), this followed a monthly decline of 20.7% in January and an increase of 18.3% in the month of February.
On an annual basis, retail volumes were 8.5% higher in March 2021 compared to March 2020.
When Motor Trades are excluded, the volume of retail sales increased by 1.4% in March 2021 over the previous month and increased by 0.3% when compared to March 2020.
The largest monthly increases were in Books, Newspapers & Stationery which increased by 19.6%.
Department Stores, increased by 17.1%, Hardware, Paints & Glass by 9.4%, Clothing, Footwear & Textiles increased by +7.7% and Fuel by 4.9%.
Monthly Retail Sales fell in Electrical Goods by 17.8%, Motor Trades by 8.5% and Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) by 1.3%.
According to the CSO, the volume of Retail Sales in March 2021 was 1.8% lower than February 2020 before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proportion of retail sales transacted online (from Irish registered companies) remained stable at 11.5% in March 2021, the CSO data showed.
Almost two thirds of Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (64.0%), close to one third of Department Store sales (29.2%) and more than one fifth of Electrical Goods (21.4%) were transacted online, it added.