RETAILERS HAVE SUFFERED a lacklustre Christmas period.
Retail representative group Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) says that this year’s sales will be marginally down on last year’s.
David Fitzsimons, chief executive of REI said “Having contacted over three hundred leading retailers nationwide over the past few days it is disappointing to confirm that retail sales are likely to be down marginally against Christmas 2012.
“While consumers might have a little more discretionary income than this time last year, even with cash in our wallets we have become habitually frugal and discerning. It would seem that six years of cautious spending behaviour has become a hard habit to break.
“The retail industry was bullish entering the festive season due to the rescheduling of Budget ’14 to October, a return to economic growth and the exit of the Troika. Unfortunately these positives did not impact on spending in the run up to Christmas 2013. Instead customers remained cautious and retailers responded with significant discounts.”
The sluggish sales will mean good news for customers, however.
REI is forecasting that post-Christmas sales will see retailers aggressively try to shift stock, with sales of up to 70 per cent.