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retail sales

We all spent less in March... (Was it the weather?)

The Central Statistics Office and Retail Excellence Ireland both showed a drop in retail spending in March.

RETAIL SALES WERE down in March, the latest statistics from the Central Statistics Office show.

According to its latest retail sales index, the volume of retail sales decreased in March by 1.9 per cent when compared with February.

There was a decrease of 3.6 per cent in the annual figure. The areas with the largest monthly increases include department stores (+2.3 per cent) and food, beverages and tobacco-specialised stores (+1.6 per cent). But those who saw the largest monthly decreases were books, newspapers and stationery; and hardware, paints and glass.

A Retail Excellence Ireland survey from earlier this week showed similar results, as 2013′s first quarter started well but got “progressively worse”.

It said that first quarter retail sales were negatively impacted by the inclement weather in March, the introduction of the property tax and industrial relations uncertainty.

Interestingly, the cold spell resulted in a +6.61 per cent lift in hot beverage sales over the first quarter, while home appliance sales jumped +18 per cent on average over the quarter. Retail Excellence said this was assisted by trading-up and the continued growth of coffee makers and food preparation sales.

Overall in the first quarter of 2013, the worst performing sectors included garden centres (-25.19 per cent), photo (-14.00 per cent) and footwear (-5.26 per cent).

Read: TD calls on supermarkets to freeze prices of 19 basic products>

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