Retail Ireland: Retail under pressure as Christmas approaches
At its annual Summit, Retail Ireland has warned once again of the confluence of external pressures that industry in Ireland is facing in the crucial Christmas period
6 October 2016 | 0
At its annual event in Dublin’s Guinnes Storehouse, Retail Ireland has warned of the immediate pressure of the Sterling collapse, which risks driving more and more consumers north of the border and online. The group, a division of IBEC, said that the upcoming Budget 2017 must address the Brexit challenge head-on in order to stimulate growth.
“The retail sector is only getting back on its feet following the crisis years,” Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke said at the Retail Ireland Summit. “Total employment in the economy is 10% higher than it was four years ago, but retail employment is only up by 2%. The emerging recovery is vulnerable, despite intense competition and falling prices, and the government has a crucial role to play.
In its submission to the government ahead of Budget 2017, Retail Ireland said the government should:
- Continue to ease burden on Irish consumers
- Keep labour costs competitive
- Establish a Town Centre Fund to ease vacancy rates in towns and villages
Burke also warned of the threat retailers face from online shopping, citing research that shows more than 50% of Irish consumers have made an online purchase over the past 12 months – a figure that is only set to grow.