RETAILERS HAVE REPORTED an increase of 10 per cent in sales on St Stephen’s Day this year.
Retail Ireland said that its members were reporting increased sales in the run-up to Christmas, and a year-on-year rise in post-Christmas sales. Some reported up to a 10 per cent rise in sales on St Stephen’s Day compared to the same day last year, it added.
The group added that despite tough trading conditions, retailers believe 2013 may see an upturn in sales for them. However, the group warned that similar trends last year were followed by a slip in sales in the new year. It said that to help with this, “Government should focus on getting the domestic economy back on track or put recovery at risk”.
The comments came as Retail Ireland released its latest retailer business sentiment survey, which showed a market increase in positivity since last year:
- Thirty one per cent of retailers surveyed rated their own business in Ireland currently as poor, 63 per cent as average and 6 per cent as good.
- Twenty per cent believed their business in Ireland would be poor in three months time, 53 per cent said it would be average but 27 per cent said it would be good.
Retail Ireland Director Stephen Lynam said:
These findings show a marked improvement from this time last year, when two-thirds of retailers considered their business to be poor and a similar number felt it would be poor three months later.
He added that despite the increase in sales in recent months, retailers continue to be concerned.
Last Christmas retail sales data showed a rise, only for the market to slip back again in the New Year. Ireland’s domestic economy remains in a very fragile state. Unless Government can give consumers the stability and confidence they need to spend, sustainable recovery will not take place.