Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today published its Q2 Retail Ireland Monitor and Budget 2016 submission.
The latest Retail Ireland monitor report sets out current trends in the sector and key ways the government can support the emerging retail recovery in Budget 2016.
Although the recent figures retail are on the up, Retail Ireland warns that recent high profile failures highlight the pressure some retailers remain under, and October’s Budget will be a vital opportunity to ease pressure on consumers and support retail employment.
Retail Ireland said mixed summer weather was a disappointment for many retailers, who benefit from additional seasonal purchases in periods of good weather. However, in general trends have been positive this year, with the domestic economy finally feeling the recovery. Price-sensitive shoppers and intense competition have kept prices down but, in contrast to recent years, consumers are more confident and willing to make larger purchases. Punitive tax rises over recent years have, however, dramatically reduced the spending power of many and this needs to be addressed on budget day.
Retail Ireland director, Thomas Burke said: “Retail sales rose 2.3% in the year to the end of June 2015 and are 2.8% ahead of the same period last year, however, they still remain 14% behind pre-crash levels. A full recovery is a long way off. Future success is contingent on Government making the right budgetary and policy decisions now. Retail is labour intensive and has the ability to create thousands of quality jobs over the coming years. But getting the business environment right is vital.”