The Grant Thornton, Retail Excellence Ireland quarterly statistics for the last quarter of 2018 have indicated that a number of sectors continue to experience a very challenging environment. Footwear, jewellery, childrenswear and IT/computing all show declines when compared to the same quarter in 2017. The declines in these sectors are most likely as a result of the ever increasing ease and competiveness of buying on-line. On the positive side sectors such as furniture and flooring, garden centres, agri- retail and home appliances which include consumer goods. These are not as easy to ship on an individual basis and therefore are generally purchased directly from retail outlets and are all trending with like for like sales increases for Quarter 4, thus indicating a certain level of positive consumer sentiment.
Very important in terms of consumer spend is the positive performance of Grocery which is up 2.64% on the same quarter in the previous year. This is a very important indicator of overall increased consumer demand and is a sure sign of positive economic performance.