Positive November retail figures welcomed
The sector has now experienced a full year of monthly year-on-year increases in both the value and volume of Irish retail sales
8 January 2015
New CSO retail sales figures for November show that the total value of retail sales rose 2.2% when compared with the same period last year.
When sales of new cars and sales in bars are excluded, the value of sales rose by 1.2%, with the volume of sales up by 3.6%.
The sector has now experienced a full year of monthly year-on-year increases in both the value and volume of Irish retail sales, however this increase is less significant when car sales are excluded.
These figures were welcomed by Ibec group, Retail Ireland.
Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke said: “Retail sales are steadily improving, but we are starting from a low base. Competition is intense and this is keeping prices low. Heavy discounting remains a prominent feature of the market, with the value of sales increasing by less than half that of the volume of sales. While the retail recovery still has a long way to go, consumer confidence is on the up. Hopefully the positive trend in retail sales can continue into 2015, with recent budget tax reductions taking effect this month.
“Later this month we will receive confirmation of the performance of the retail sector over the crucial Christmas period. December is the single most important trading month for the sector and we are hopeful that our pre-Christmas forecast of an increase of 2% on Christmas 2013 can be achieved. These numbers will be crucial in determining the overall performance of the sector in 2014.”
Retail Excellence Ireland has said that the latest retail sales data, while positive, illustrates the impact of price discounting in late 2014.
Speaking his morning, REI deputy chief executive Seán Murphy said: “Today’s retail sales data from the CSO builds on positive trends seen throughout 2014. However, the increase in volume and the only marginal increase in the value of sales are relatively disappointing.
“Today’s news that annualised growth of retail sales volume was 3.6%, excluding motor trades, illustrates the impact of Black Friday (28.11.14) on bringing Christmas spending ‘forward.’ The fact that the annualised increase in value was only 1.2% shows the impact of aggressive price discounting that occurred in November 2014.
“All of this shows that the Irish retail industry is fighting tooth and nail for consumer spend, and consumers are reaping the reward in terms of securing value,” he said.