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Retail recovery could add 40k jobs

Tuesday, December 03 14:10:06

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

It said that retailers were optimistic that improved confidence and positive trends in the wider economy would translate into improved Christmas sales. Retail sales figures up to now have been disappointing and many retailers continue to struggle.

It found that retail employs over 275,000 people and is the largest employer in the country with 75pc of these jobs located outside Dublin.

The sector generates over E5 billion in taxes every year and pays over E8 billion in wages.

The report said that 90pc of retail businesses are Irish-owned and 77pc are family owned. A similar number have an annual turnover of less than E1 million.

If retail sales can start to grow by 3-4pc per annum from 2016, the sector can create 40,000 new jobs, it predicted.

Retail Ireland Director Stephen Lynam said: "Consumer sentiment is at a five year high and there are 58,000 new jobs in the economy. This should translate into higher spending this Christmas. Together with the fantastic value available in Irish stores right now, we are hopeful that tills will be ringing in the coming weeks."

"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."