A “significant” number of shops will close around the country, according to Retail Excellence Ireland after their Irish Retail Industry Performance Review Q4 2011 showed that a record fall in Irish retail sales levels continued in the fourth quarter of last year.
This was in spite of the fact that, compared with December 2010, December 2011 was the first month to demonstrate like for like growth since March 2008. The improvements can be largely explained by the previous year’s record snowfalls, REI said.
Any closure of retail units around the country would have a serious effect not only on employment figures but also on the commercial property market.
According to the performance review, overall year-on-year sales levels fell by an average of -1.58% during the final quarter of 2011, improving slightly from falls of -6.09% and -3.01% in the third and second quarters respectively.
This continued and longstanding trend of falling sales in Ireland’s retail industry saw November recorded as the 45th consecutive month of sales decline.
Amongst the areas worst hit were furniture, flooring and jewellery while the best performing were garden centres, menswear and, to a lesser extent, ladieswear.