May 14, 2018
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Irish retail sales hit hard by Storm Emma

May 14, 2018

The Irish retail sector suffered sales losses exceeding 30% in some instances during the last week of February, when several stores were forced to close and adapt to supply chain turbulence as a result of Storm Emma.

Grafton St, Dublin

According to new data from Retail Ireland, published on Monday, retailers struggled to make up for the lost sales, which ran into the tens of millions of euros industry wide, despite having had a strong start to the year.

“Our members enjoyed a strong start to 2018 with a buoyant economy and growing consumer disposable income fuelling strong sales. However, the benefit of that increase was largely wiped away during the last week of February, as Storm Emma caused widespread disruption and closures over four key trading days (Thursday-Sunday), and longer-term supply chain and consumer disruption which ran into a full week,” commented Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke.

Retailers reported like-for-like falls of over 30% when compared to the same week in 2017, said Retail Ireland. However, the fashion, footwear and textiles sector remained resilient through the first quarter with total sales values down 1% but total sales volumes up 3%.

Department stores had an indifferent start to the year, and reported a mere 1% increase in total sales values when compared to Q1 2017, whilst total sales volumes increased by 5% year-on-year.

Supermarkets and convenience stores, and pharmacies had a relatively solid quarter, said Retail Ireland.

The Ibec group that represents the sector worked closely with the National Emergency Coordination Group over the course of the extreme weather, and has called for new measures to be put in place for the next such event.

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