Retail industry body blast 'alarmist ' Met Éireann weather warnings

Retail industry body blast 'alarmist ' Met Éireann weather warnings
David Fitzsimons, the Retail Excellence chief executive

Ireland's largest retail industry body has hit out at what they call 'alarmist' weather warnings issued by Met Éireann, saying they are "significantly damaging footfall".

Last weekend, on the penultimate Saturday before Christmas, there was a weather warning which Retail Excellence claim made shoppers stay at home.

David Fitzsimons, the Retail Excellence chief executive said: “Our team has spent the past two days gathering trading data from over three hundred retailers nationwide.

The most common comment from retailers is that the weather alert issued by Met Éireann pertaining to weather conditions last Saturday was at best alarmist.

"Most of the country experienced rain and some wind and yet the alert more or less turned off the spending tap, on one of the most important days in the retail calendar.”

As well as weather warnings, the group pointed to an extended quiet period either side of Black Friday, shopping choosing international websites for their online shopping and an uncompetitive VAT rate compared to the North as reasons for the industry to fail to build on last year.

Uncertainty around Brexit and whether the UK leave the European Union with 'no deal' is another challenge facing the retail industry heading into 2019, the report states.

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