Cost of doing business is impacting retail sector.
Annual increase in Volume and Value welcomed.
With the release of the CSO retail sales figures for November on 5th January, ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, welcomed the increase in retail sales in year to November. However, the Association has called on the Government to work closely with the retail sector in 2017 to help reduce the cost of doing business.
Retail sales figures for November show an annual increase of 4.3% in Volume and 2.1% in Value. When motor sales are excluded there was a 3.1% increase in Volume and 2.2% increase in Value in the year. The monthly figures show an increase of 0.9% in Volume, and 0.6% in Value.
ISME, CEO, Neil McDonnell commented, “The retail sector is vital to the Irish economy, being the country’s largest industry and largest private sector employer, accounting for approximately 9% of Irelands gross value added.”
“In our latest business trends survey, business costs remain a matter of concern. 22% of our members have experienced +5% increases in their rents and 70% have experienced +5% increase in transport. These type of increases, which are state influenced, are having a undesirable effect on businesses.”
The main issues facing retailers are:
Very low margins, as evidenced by the CSO figures.
Negative cross border trade.
Excessive business costs such as insurance, rates, and development charges.
“It is hoped that 2017 will provide a new opportunity for the Government to tackle the high of cost of doing business on the SME sector, such a move will help create new opportunities for employment.” concluded McDonnell.