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Cappuccino now our only luxury

LADIES' fashion and electrical goods have taken a hammering as new retail figures show consumers continue to pull back on spending, writes Aideen Sheehan.

Cappuccinos and cups of tea are about our only luxury, with hot beverages the best performing retail sector in a survey by Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), a lobby group that represents 8,500 stores.

Some 40,000 retail jobs are under threat as a result of the weak retail climate and high costs, on top of the 40,000 already lost, REI chief David Fitzsimons said.

Discretionary items have been worst hit -- sales of women's clothes are down over 8pc, while sales of electrical goods dipped by nearly 10pc in the second quarter of 2011, compared to the same period last year.

Irish Independent