With the growth in the construction and building sectors, naturally consumers have invested in their homes with increases in the sales of furniture and flooring and home appliances as well as garden centres seeing a boost in sales of +4.69%. The construction measures introduced in Budget 2018 will serve to improve these performances going forward.
Irish retailers have seen a dip in sales in the areas of fashion, footwear, lingerie and childrenswear. Increasingly, consumers are turning to online shopping outside of Ireland with convenience and perceived value being the primary contributing factors. This category of retailer is now operating in a global market. Online shopping is a game changer and I would expect further erosion in the area as new opportunities to shop online arise.
Pharmacy and health stores have seen a steady increase where expert knowledge may be required.
While retail continues to face challenges, particularly online retailers outside of Ireland, overall, there has been a positive +1.01% increase in sales on Q4 2016.