Rate of retail decline levelling off

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Third quarter results show less deterioration than earlier periods in 2009, according to Retail Excellence Ireland



15 November 2009

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Retail sales in Ireland in the third quarter of the year showed little deterioration compared with the second quarter, according to Retail Excellence Ireland. Although REI’s quarterly Irish Retail Industry Performance Review recorded a 16% drop versus sales figures for the same period last year, the result represents a positive indicator for the sector after a very troubled year so far.

The review also found that average retail sales per square foot were up by 7% on last quarter, while average wage and rent cost as a percentage of sales had eased slightly. Wages improved from an average of 18% of sales in the first and second quarter to an average of 16% in the third. Rent cost meanwhile dropped from an average cost of 13% of sales down to 11%, although this is still higher than “the norm” of 8.5% in other European countries.

Commenting on the results, REI chief executive David Fitzsimons said: “The good news from these results is that the rate of decline appears to be levelling off for 2009…The bad news is that the volume declines come on the back of already weak comparables in quarter three 2008 when Ireland officially entered recession, somewhat masking the true extent of the decline.”



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