Irish fashion retail struggles in Q1

Fashion faltered in Ireland in Q1, despite the country’s economy improving, and it was largely the snowstorms during March that were to blame, although January and February were also slow.

Brown Thomas

Industry group Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) womenswear and menswear sales were down during all three months of the first quarter, but even categories that might have been expected to benefit from events such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter also suffered with lingerie and jewellery sales dropping in each of the three months too.

It seems that Irish consumers have been as averse to buying the new spring collections as UK consumers were with the February and March weather in the two countries being similarly bleak.

And it means Irish fashion stores faced many of the same problems as their UK peers for two successive seasons after the mild October in 2017 devastated early autumn sales and the cold February and March did likewise to early spring turnover.

REI said that overall Irish retail sales fell by 0.2% during Q1 but they were down 1.2% in March with the latest months figures clearly driving down what had been better results across most categories in January and February.

The March drop came even though Easter boosted the figures and while most of the 19 retail sectors that the report covers underperformed, REI called out clothing as one of the main sufferers.

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