Retail up 5% this Christmas

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The retail sector in Ireland has had a reasonably good trading period heading into Christmas and expects trade to be up 5% from the same period last year.

The sector is happy to be open and commercial, according to Retail Ireland.

“Retailers had a good rebound after the restrictions were lifted this summer and this continued until the end of the year,” said Arnold Dillon, director of Retail Ireland. “It’s not distributed evenly across the area. Recent restrictions on hospitality, home guiding work and the lack of tourists mean that footfall in some places in the city center is on the decline.”

Attendance in Dublin, in particular, is down 20-30% in places.

However, Mr Dillon said that while buyers aren’t browsing as much as they used to, the conversion rate is increasing. “There are fewer people in the city, but in general they spend a little more. “

The high rate of Covid 19 cases in the community is impacting staff levels in the retail business.

“It has been a very difficult time for retail HR departments during the pandemic. There are already very significant staff shortages in the sector, and with a significant number of cases, personnel management has been a challenge. .

He said department stores are managing with a reduced number of employees, but it becomes a real challenge for small retailers when people are away.

“It might become more of a challenge in the New Year, so we ask the public to be patient in terms of stores trying to deal with this issue,” Mr. Dillon said.

The Mandate union recently called on people to be more respectful of staff working in the retail sector, following a number of incidents in which staff were subjected to abusive comments from members of the public who refused to comply with public health guidelines.

“The vast majority of customers really support staff time and comply with all of the different rules around social distancing and wearing face masks. “

Mr Dillon said Ireland is better than other countries in this regard. “Of course there are always idiots out there who make life a bit difficult for everyone and we try to deal with these situations as best we can when they arise.”

There will be sales after Christmas and early in 2022, but the “top priority” for the retail industry is to continue to trade and provide a safe shopping experience for customers.


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