With headline retail sales volume back within 3% of their peak in January 2008, the strong showing for Irish retail rates is being driven by books, clothes and hardware. Personal spending looks set to continue to rise, thanks to low deposit-interest rates, meaning more disposable income.
The Brexit Effect?
Though there are worries that the effect of Brexit and a possible return to cross border trading, coupled with a possible devaluation of sterling against the Euro, may slow sales growth, sales momentum remains strong. However, retailers are being warned to be aware of potential short and long term effects of the vote to leave the EU.
Retail Ireland director, Thomas Burke, has voiced his concerns about the short term impact of economic uncertainty but headline retail sales seem to be heading towards 2015 levels.
Driving Retail Growth
Figures for growth were particularly strong for hardware, paints and glass, which showed a 14.3% month on month increase, followed by paper-based media including books, newspapers and stationery at 10.1%. Clothing, footwear and textiles showed similarly strong growth at 9.7%
Although retailers are advised to be cautious of any potential Brexit effect, Ireland is still regarded as an excellent place to do business, boasting the strongest economic growth in
Europe in 2015.
With consumer confidence high, now is a good time to think about making an investment in your retail bricks and mortar, by using a company like http://www.rmcdesignco.com/ to restyle your premises. Optimising your retail store design is proven to increase sales, by creating that valuable first impression. In the capital, with retail outlets in key locations at a premium, good shop design in Dublin can drive retail customers to your door.
The Celtic Tiger
Despite the continuing uncertainty around the timing of Brexit, Ireland looks well placed to weather the short term effects, even allowing for decreases in sales of electrical goods, cars and food, beverages and tobacco, which all fell by less than 2%. Alan McQuaid, economist at Merrion Capital is confident: ““Even allowing for a slowdown in spending in the second half of 2016, we think that headline retail sales volume growth for the year as a whole will be in the region of 7.0 per cent as against 8.2 per cent in 2015,” he said.