New signs of a retail recovery

There's good news for the retail sector with new figures from Retail Excellence showing a signs of a recovery across the country.

Deputy CEO at Retail Excellence - which has over 100 members in Kerry - Lorraine Higgins said that "Stability has finally returned to the Irish retail industry after inconsistent sales patterns recorded by our member retailers earlier in 2017".

Ms Higgins was speaking following the release of the Grant Thornton Retail Excellence Q3 2017 Retail Productivity Review which highlights signs of recovery for the industry across the State.

"Overall Quarter three proved a reasonable trading period with an increase in sales of +1.94 per cent compared to the same period in 2016 where 14 out of 20 sectors traded demonstrably stronger," she said.

"Those sectors recording a negative sales pattern did so only marginally which indicates Irish retail is finally starting to recover lost ground," Ms Higgins said.

"Furniture and Flooring and Large Home Appliances had a very robust quarter recording like for like gains of 9.14 per cent and 8.10 per cent respectively, thus proving that some fluidity is returning to the residential housing market," she said.

"Agri Retail and the Garden Centre sectors also enjoyed a good period of trade primarily as a result of clement weather. The new construction measures introduced in Budget 2018 will serve only to improve the aforementioned performances in future reports," Higgins said.

"Overall, the Irish Retail Industry has demonstrated its resilience in the face of external challenges like Brexit, sterling devaluation and the migration to online spend," Ms Higgins said.

"With full employment within touching distance and measures implemented in Budget 2018 which will increase consumer spend the key to improving sales and thus exchequer returns is to ensure improved supports for omni-channel retailers" Lorraine Higgins concluded.