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February 28, 2012

North Kildare Chamber Call For Retail Strategy Group

North Kildare Chamber North Kildare Chamber today call for the immediate set up of the promised “ Retail Strategy Group”  to address the concerns of retailers and to promote an environment that will help secure businesses and jobs.  This follows today’s depressing CSO figures which show a 3.7% decrease in retail spending in January.  Allan Shine, Chamber CEO said “The Retail Industry employ over 15% of our workforce and we still wait for the Government to set up the promised Retail Strategy Group.  The main reason for the fall in spending is the recent increase in VAT from 21% to 23%. 

The high cost of rents, rates, tax and labour are causing retailers real difficulties and depressing consumer demand. Action is needed on all these fronts, including a review of VAT returns at the end of next month. If the Government's target is not met, as now seems likely, the 2 per cent increase should be reversed.
The January figures show that we face another challenging year, with business closure and additional redundancies in this sector.  Consumer sentiment is weak and the outlook looks weaker.  Retails sales are now down approximately 30% from the boom era.  Our members have cut costs in all areas of their businesses and we now need Government to admit that this is a serious matter which has already cost over 50,000 jobs in the sector over the past few years, Shine concluded.