Retailers remain pessimistic on trading outlook

Retail Ireland, the group that represents the Irish retail sector, has released the results of an industry-wide survey, which found that retailers remain pessimistic about the trading outlook. Some 56 per cent of respondents rated the prospects for their business over the three months from March to May as poor or very poor, some 27 per cent rated it as average and 17 per cent rated it as good for this period.

Sixty seven per cent of respondents rated the overall current business environment as poor, 23 per cent rated it as average, and 10 per cent rated it as good. Just seven per cent of respondents are more confident about their business than they were three months ago, 60 per cent are less confident, and 33 per cent of respondents report similar levels of confidence.

Only three per cent of respondents expect employee numbers to increase, with 43 per cent expecting to reduce employment in the next three months, and 54 per cent expecting numbers to remain unchanged.

The survey also found that 70 per cent of respondents rated the prospects for the overall current business environment in the period March to May as poor, 20 per cent rated it as average, and 10 per cent rated it as good.

Fifty three per cent of retailers expect sales to decrease over the three months, 31 per cent expect sales to stay the same, and 16 per cent expect sales to increase during this period. This is a deterioration on the September survey.

Thirteen per cent of respondents expect slightly more customers over the three months, 40 per cent predict static customer numbers and 47 per cent predict fewer customers during this period.

Some 53 per cent of respondents expect the profitability of their businesses to decrease over the three months, 37 per cent expect it to stay the same, and 10 per cent expect a slight increase.

 

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