Irish online retailers concerned about labour shortage and persistent supply chain issues

Scurri, the software provider that connects and optimises the eCommerce ordering, shipping, and delivery process, has released the results of its nationwide representative B2B survey among over 150 retailers across Ireland.

The findings reveal the level of key concern felt by retailers leading up to the festive season. The study also looked at how supply chain complications have caused changes in online retailers’ key growth markets and their feelings going into the New Year (2022 ).

"Supply chain disruption is at a crisis point. HGV driver and CO2 shortages, inflated shipping costs and commodities prices, sustainability issues, financial strains and greater ESG regulations for sourcing and manufacturing goods are just some of the many challenges retailers are facing.

"As we approach one of the busiest shopping periods of the year, it’s therefore critical for retailers to reflect on how they can respond to their concerns through their own campaigns and strategies. Retailers have no choice but to turn this disruption on its head by kickstarting Christmas marketing earlier than usual to keep customers happy", Rory O’Connor, founder and CEO of Scurri, said.

HGV driver and staffing shortages being at a crisis point, as well as Northern Ireland Protocol and resulting complications, are cited among main retailers’ concerns

"Almost nine out of 10 online retailers state that they are concerned or very concerned about labour shortage and supply chain issues ahead of the Christmas season, with only as little as nine percent of retailers saying they are not really concerned.

"More than half of the surveyed online retailers (59 percent ) felt that they would be facing a more challenging Christmas season than in the previous year (Christmas 2020 ), with only 15 percent believing that the situation will prove less difficult. For physical stores there were similar sentiments, with 58 percent stating that they see the circumstances being more challenging than what we experienced in 2020, and 28% believing that physical stores will face the same amount of difficulty.

"Of course in these circumstances, Irish retailers have been looking to our neighbours in the UK and their dealing with the crisis. 75 percent of online Irish retailers feel that Ireland is in a stronger position than the UK to deal with the present situation. Similarly, more than three quarters of respondents (76 percent ) agree that the Northern Ireland Protocol is the greatest factor negatively impacting trade this coming Christmas.

"As a result of these changes and complications in the last month, many Irish retailers are concerned about the level of expected trade to and from Ireland in the coming months; 29 percent of respondents predict exports to fall, imports to rise; 24 percent predict exports to rise, imports to rise; 24 percent predict exports to rise, imports to fall; and 23 percent predict exports to fall, imports to fall. These results highlight the uncertainty of the direction in which trade may go as we enter the new year," the survey findings noted.


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