The weather whiteouts over the past month have decimated retail sales with many stores expecting sharp falls compared with the previous year, The Sunday Business Post reports.
New research by Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) shows sales could be 8% down on the same period last year – double the 4% retailers had been bracing themselves for due to the austerity measures.
According to REI, Retailers reported shoppers were more value-driven and willing to haggle, sometimes aggressively.
Shoppers were also staying local and the flow to the North had been stemmed.
“The adverse weather conditions affected consumer mobility, while significant price deflation and the favourable exchange rate have improved the competitiveness of the Republic’s retail offer,” REI said.
IBEC estimated that the recent cold snap cost its members €640m in absenteeism, lost sales and productivity. While many would be able to recoup these losses, hoteliers and retailers would not be so fortunate.