Reacting to the latest retail sales figures for June, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association called on the Government to immediately tackle the high cost base for retailers.
The organisation has warned that, unless action is taken the sector will implode, with shop closures and job losses of unprecedented proportions.
There has been more than a 30% decline in sales in the last five years and now more than 1 in 5 shops is empty and over 50,000 jobs lost noted an ISME spokesperson.
The June retail sales figures showing a reduction of -1.5% in volume and -1.4% in value are further evidence of the continuing depressed consumer demand, despite sales and promotion efforts from retailers to encourage sales.
ISME Chief Executive Officer, Mark Fielding slated the Government for its ‘civil service’ approach to assisting the sector, seeking no input from the sector itself.
He said urgent action was needed.