Retail suffers September slump amid uncertainty

Retail suffers September slump amid uncertainty

Retailers have had their worst month since July 2013, according to research carried out among members of lobby group Retail Excellence Ireland.

The Grant Thornton Retail Excellence productivity review for quarter three shows that sales were up by just over 1pc in July and August, but down 3.34pc in September, leaving the quarter down 0.63pc.

David Fitzsimons, group chief executive of Retail Excellence, said: “Almost all sectors across the retail industry contracted during the month, with the worst performers being footwear (-13.08pc) and menswear (-11.02pc). The aggressive declines in the footwear sector were the worst recorded since November 2009.”

He said Brexit and general political uncertainty are negatively affecting consumer sentiment and spending.

Growth in online sales fell steadily over the quarter, with these sales up 12.17pc in July, 8.13pc during August and just 4.17pc in September.

“The fact that the rate of growth in online sales has steadily declined across the year to date proves how distressed the situation is,” said Fitzsimons.

Giftware, ladies’ fashion and children’s wear all suffered last month, according to the report, which is based on research from 4,500 stores.

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