RETAILERS had the strongest quarterly gains in the run-up to Christmas since 2007.
Sales were up 4.22pc in the last three months of the year, the strongest growth since the second quarter in 2007, Retail Excellence Ireland said.
Jewellery was the star performer, recording like-for-like gains of 14.91pc on the fourth quarter of 2013, but the pharmacy sector remained under pressure.
The fashion sector performed strongly, with menswear being the most productive sector, recording like-for-like gains of 8.81pc.
Footwear increased by 4.68pc following a poor end to quarter three due to mild weather.
The furniture and flooring sector saw an 8.2pc gain in sales due to the home renovation scheme.