Following consultation with over three hundred retailers on the week leading up to and including Christmas Eve (19th to 24th December), and in formulating the second phase of its two-part retail industry Christmas trading statement, Ireland’s largest retail representative body Retail Excellence drew some key takeaways for December 2018.
- Government need to reduce business costs and most especially our headline VAT rate of 23% if retailers are to compete in what is now a global marketplace.
- Retail Excellence will meet with Met Eireann in the New Year to discuss the negative impact weather alerts have on footfall. It is normal for footfall to dissipate by 12% on a bad weather day, the declines doubled when Met Éireann issue an alert.
LITTLE CHANGE RECORDED
Commenting on the report, David Fitzsimons, Group Chief Executive, Retail Excellence said: “Our team has spent this week gathering trading data from over three hundred retailers nationwide. The most common comment from retailers this year is that the weather alert issued by met Eireann pertaining to weather conditions last Saturday was at best alarmist.
“The last five days to Christmas Eve have traded well with the extra day an added bonus and the psychology of having three full shopping days before Christmas Day, when most people were on annual leave, did have a very positive impact on footfall and spending.
"However the retail environment this Christmas has been very challenging with most sectors recording little change from the same period in 2017.”