Positive November retail figures point to strong Christmas

Wednesday, 6 January 2016
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today said that new CSO retail sales figures for November point to a strong Christmas period for retail. The figures showed the total value of retail sales (excluding sales of cars and sales in bars) rising by 4.8% when compared to November of last year, with the volume of sales up by 9.2% over the same period.

Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: “The strong growth in retail sales in November is encouraging and it appears that fears of a slump ahead of the key Christmas and New Year sales period were unfounded with month on month growth of close to 2.5% recorded in November. The broad base of the recovery in retail sales is also notable with all of the core retail categories posting growth in the year to the end of November. Hopefully this positive trend in retail sales can continue into 2016, with recent budget tax reductions taking effect this month.

"Certain categories of retail continue to out perform the market with both electrical stores and furniture and lighting stores posting strong performances in November, albeit from a lower base. Growth in other categories remains more modest with low single digit growth recorded in categories such as clothing, food and books, news and stationery. Categories such as fuel remain challenged by global commodity prices.

“Later this month we will receive confirmation of the performance of the retail sector over the crucial Christmas period. December is the single most important trading month for the sector and we are confident that our pre-Christmas forecast of an increase of 3.5% on Christmas 2014 will be realised if not exceeded. These numbers will be crucial in determining the overall performance of the sector in 2015."