Retailers unhappy with 30-80% rise in parcel deliveries from UK

Retail Excellence says trading is down on last year as Christmas approaches

Retailers have seen a measured increase in Black Friday  shopping at discounted prices. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty

Retailers have seen a measured increase in Black Friday shopping at discounted prices. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty

 

Logistics companies are reporting increases of anywhere from 30 per cent to 80 per cent in packages arriving into the Republic from the United Kingdom, retailers have said.

Retail Excellence, the representative group for retailers, said sales were currently trending down against this time last year.

It said there had been an erosion in consumer sentiment following Britain’s vote to leave the EU and the election of businessman Donald Trump as US president.

Retail Excellence spokeswoman Lynn Drumgoole said it was “disappointing to report that most sectors within the Irish retail industry are currently trading down against this time last year”.

“We have witnessed a significant increase in shopping with ‘.co.uk’ websites in November due to weakened sterling,” she said. “We have also seen a measured increase in Black Friday shopping at discounted prices.

“These reasons, added to a general deterioration in customer sentiment, have resulted in a challenged retail situation so far in December.

“While some sectors will trade slightly up or on par against last year consumer electronics, beauty and pharmacy, telecommunications, ladies wear, footwear and jewellery are all trending downwards.

Damaging impact

“Logistics companies are reporting a 30 per cent to 80 per cent increase in packages arriving into the country from the United Kingdom and this has had a very obvious and significantly damaging impact on the local economy.”

The largest like-for-like increases in parcel deliveries for Christmas 2016 were recorded in counties Wexford, Tipperary and Laois.

Earlier this month, the latest Consumer Spending Index from Visa showed Irish consumers spent more money in November this year than that of last year, but the surge was driven largely by a dramatic spike in online sales.

Much of the money spent online was directed to websites in the UK where stock is priced in sterling.

The rate at which spending increased across the Republic slowed for the second month running.

The Visa index showed expenditure across multiple categories in November was up 3.9 per cent compared with the same month last year, the weakest expansion for a year-and-a-half and slower than the 4.4 per cent year-on-year increase recorded in October.

The overall increase in expenditure was driven by eCommerce, where spending was up a record 21.6 per cent compared with the same period last year.