Rise of online sales forcing retailers to rethink approach

The growth of online sales is a worrying reality for the country's retailers.

IBEC's Retail Ireland says an uplift in sales in the run-up to Christmas is hiding a decline in more traditional business.

Takings rose by 2.7% in the last three months of 2018.

Retail Ireland Director, Thomas Burke, says they have noticed a dramatic shift in shopping patterns in general.

"Online is taking footfall from high streets and shopping centres at an increasing pace over the last number of months and that means retailers are having to work a little bit harder to draw consumers in and convince them to part with their money in-store," said Mr Burke.

He added that the competitive market is forcing the industry to rethink its approach.

There was pretty much a blanket consensus in the industry that footfall was down during the Christmas period in key shopping hot spots.

"Furthermore, there was a noticeable softening of consumer sentiment and spending in recent months which would suggest that there is a dramatic shift in shopping patterns and that consumers are now shaping their shopping patterns a little bit differently than they had in previous years."

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