- Business costs impacting retail sector
- Consumer sentiment down
- New commercial rates evaluation system is needed
ISME, the Irish SME Association today (January 5th) at the release of the November retail sales index calls on the Government and Local Authorities to provide greater support for the retail sector in 2018. The Association calls for changes in how commercial rates are calculated on commercial properties.
The volume of retail sales increased by 2.6% in the month of November, with an annual increase of 6.8%. There was an increase of 2.6% in the value of retail sales in November 2017 when compared with October 2017 and there was an annual increase of 4.4% when compared with November 2016.
Commenting on today’s figures ISME CEO Neil McDonnell “2018 will be a challenging year the retail sector, there is still a lot of uncertainty around Brexit, currency fluctuations, increased cross-border shopping, labour costs, and the impact of commercial rate revaluations on local shops in our towns and villages”
“Latest research from the KBC/ESRI consumer sentiment index shows consecutive declines in consumer confidence, these figures are in line with our own research which shows negative trends in the retail sector”
The main issues facing retailers are:
• Very low margins, as evidenced by CSO figures.
• Negative cross-border trade.
• Excessive business costs such as insurance, rates, and development charges.
“A positive approach measure to support our retail sector, towns and villages, would be to implement changes in how local commercial rates are calculated. A fairer and more equitable system, which does not penalise main-street shops, is needed. Such a change would be positive for both retailers and our towns”