Jan 7, 2022
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Irish retail sales growth slows, fashion stays buoyant

Jan 7, 2022

Irish retail sales continued to rise in November but growth was slower than it has been, although fashion remained a key category for Irish consumers.

Photo: Pixabay/Public domain

The country’s Central Statistics Agency said on Friday that retail sale volumes increased 0.6% month-on-month in November (they’d risen 1.7% in October) with retail volumes also up 16.3% year-on-year.

The stats body also said that the value of retail sales was 0.3% higher in November 2021 than in October and 23.8% higher than November 2020.

However, the annual comparisons can be misleading given that the country was under Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions for the whole of November 2020 with only essential retail open. As a result of those restrictions, the volume of retail sales had fallen by 12% in that month compared to October 2020.

The CSA said that the largest monthly volume increases in sales were recorded in Hardware, Paints & Glass (+16.3%) and Clothing & Footwear (+14.1%).

The fashion category clearly remained in demand and was also up a massive 212% year-on-year although, again, this figure would have been skewed by the lockdown conditions in November 2020.

So what about comparisons to two years ago before the pandemic? The CSA said retail sales volumes were actually 10.9% higher, while Clothing & Footwear rose as much as 32% on a two-year basis.

However, those rises may not be as good as they seem given that Black Friday occurred in November this year but was accounted for in the December reporting period in 2019, so that would have artificially delated 2019’s November figures.

The proportion of retail sales transacted online (from Irish registered companies) was 6.2% in November 2021 compared to 5.5% in October and 12.4% in November 2020. 

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