Strategy for Retail 2014-2016

Retail Ireland's 'Strategy for Retail 2014-2016' shows that the sector can create up to 40,000 new jobs by 2020 if the sector can be put on a sustainable path to recovery.

A healthy retail sector is vital to the Irish economy and to the commercial life of our towns and cities. If the economy improves, and we put in place the right policies to support the development of the sector, we have the potential to create up to 40,000 new jobs. The retail sector is a major employer right across the country and is labour intensive. Any significant increase in retail activity will immediately lead to job creation. A resurgent retail sector will also have a direct impact on the social and commercial lives of our towns and cities, which have been badly hit by shop closures and the resulting job losses."

Key findings set out in the strategy include:
  • Retail employs over 275,000 people and is the largest employer in the country
  • 75% of retail jobs are located outside Dublin
  • Retail generates over €5 billion in taxes every year and pays over €8 billion in wages
  • 90% of retail businesses are Irish-owned and 77% are family owned. A similar number have an annual turnover of less than €1 million
  • If retail sales can start to grow by 3-4% per annum from 2016, the sector can create 40,000 new jobs.

The strategy sets out what needs to be done if we are to realise the sector's true potential, including putting in place a retailer-friendly policy environment, improving the skills of retail staff and developing the online potential of stores. The retail sector has borne the brunt of the recession, with store closures and thousands of job losses. If the tide turns, however, there is enormous scope for growth and job creation.