Monday, October 22 10:18:35
The third quarter of this year saw Irish retail sales decline every quarter for three and a half years with no respite in sight, the latest Retail Excellence Ireland's (REI) Irish Retail Industry Performance Review showed today.
The worst performing sectors for Q3 included IT / Computing (down -19.90pc on Q3 in 2011), Garden Centre (down -8.54pc on Q3 in 2011) and Photo (Camera) (down -7.10pc on Q3 in 2011).
The best performing retail industry sectors included Consumer Electronics (Brown Goods) and Home Appliances (Small), both increasing sales levels in Q3 2012 compared with Q3 2011.
Overall, year-on-year sales levels fell by an average of -1.04pc during the third quarter of 2012. This continued the longstanding trend of falling sales in Ireland's retail industry and saw Q3 2012 become the 14th quarter of consecutive sales decline.
September proved to be the most challenging month of the quarter, with sales falling by -1.48pc year-on-year. Pre-budget speculation in September, which caused a decrease in consumer sentiment, is the main reason for this. The month of July saw an improvement, with Irish retailers reporting a decrease of only -0.07pc.
Other poorly performing sectors in Q3 2012 include Ladies Fashion and Furniture and Flooring, down -3.22pc and -4.29pc respectively, in comparison with Q3 2011. Home and Giftware was also a relatively poor performing retail sector, seeing like-for-like sales in Q3 2012 fall by a rate of -5.64pc.
Speaking at the publication of the Q3 2012 retail figures, REI Chief Executive Officer, David Fitzsimons said: "There were mixed fortunes experienced by different sectors in quarter three 2012. It is no surprise that non-discretionary sectors including Grocery, Pharmacy and Hot Beverage enjoyed a reasonable trading period, while the inclement summer weather negatively impacted on Ladies Fashion sales and Garden Centre activity".
"Consumer electronics enjoyed a buoyant period helped for the most part by the digital switchover, while computing sales were hit with price deflation and purchase postponement. It is disappointing that the quarter gradually dis-improved, primarily due to Budget 2013 speculation, indicating that a return to growth is less likely than first thought. Home dependent sectors including Furniture and Flooring and Home and Giftware continue to suffer due to the lack of a functioning residential property market. If matters do not significantly improve in the run-up to Christmas 2012, further failure is assured".