Property Tax and weather blamed for disappointing Christmas retail sales

Christmas trading this year will be marginally down compared to Christmas 2012, according to Retail Excellence Ireland.

"Having contacted over 300 leading retailers nationwide over the past few days it is disappointing to confirm that retail sales are likely to be down marginally against Christmas 2012," said David Fitzsimons, chief executive, Retail Excellence Ireland.

"While consumers might have a little more discretionary income than this time last year, even with cash in our wallets we have become habitually frugal and discerning.

"It would seem that six years of cautious spending behaviour has become a hard habit to break.

"The retail industry was bullish entering the festive season due to the rescheduling of Budget ’14 to October, a return to economic growth and the exit of the Troika.

"Unfortunately these positives did not impact on spending in the run up to Christmas 2013.

"Instead customers remained cautious and retailers responded with significant discounts. Many retailers have suggested that the announcement by the Revenue of the 2014 residential property tax last November significantly damaged consumer sentiment and dampened Christmas spending.

"The adverse weather over the two final weekends before Christmas Day also impacted negatively on footfall and dwell time, especially in the high streets. What this means is that retailers are carrying significant stock levels into the Sales period which can only mean one thing – exceptional value for the Irish consumer."

  • Click to stay connected with more stories like this
  • Sign up here to receive news by email. Once per day, no spam.

Most Read in Business

World Market

Currency Rates