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Dismal summer hurts sales

A DAMP and overcast summer combined with fears about massive hits in the Budget have continued the freefall of sales in Irish retail.

Statistics from Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) outline that sales have slumped a further 1pc in general since last year.

Technology sales were hit the worst, down 20pc on the same quarter last year. Garden centre sales fell by 8.5pc.

Ladies fashion dropped by 3.2pc while home and giftware was down 5.6pc and furniture and flooring plummeted by 4.3pc.

REI's chief executive David Fitzsimons said that retailers now fear December's Budget, which many believe will be the toughest so far.

Mr Fitzsimons said that the timing of the Budget just before Christmas -- a season in which many retailers achieve up to one-third of their annual sales -- continues to be hugely damaging.

However electronics experienced an unusual 16pc boost and small home appliances were up 11pc.