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Saturday 23 August 2014

Furniture and lighting sales boosted by house revival

JEROME REILLY

Published 08/06/2014 | 02:30

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Retail Ireland chief Stephen Lynam
Retail Ireland chief Stephen Lynam

THE mini property revival in Dublin has helped boost sales of furniture and lighting.

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Retail Ireland, the employers' group that represents the retail industry, this weekend described the latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures as encouraging – and believe the trend will continue for the rest of the year.

The value of sales, excluding motor trades and bars, rose by 2.1 per cent compared with April 2013, while the volume of sales increased by 4.9 per cent. Retail Ireland director, Stephen Lynam, said: "April's increase of over 20 per cent(on furniture and lighting) is hugely welcome by a sector of retail that has had a very difficult few years."

Aldi, which has an 8 per cent share of the Irish grocery market and already employs 2,400 people in Ireland, expects to recruit another 450 workers between now and the end of the year as they open another seven stores.

And UK supermarket giant Tesco has indicated its performance in the Irish market is "starting to improve", although the market remains "intensely competitive".

One of the biggest problems facing retailers is the high levels of local authority rates and charges. Retail Ireland urged newly elected councillors to get to grips with this problem as soon as possible. The Irish Small and Medium Enterprise organisation has called on new councils to introduce a temporary freezing of commercial rates to assist retailers.

Sunday Independent

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