According to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office, bars suffered the biggest decrease in sales in the retail sector last year.
Comparing figures from February 2020 to December of the same year, bar sales decreased by -62.4%.
Newspapers, books and stationery sales suffered the next largest decrease, falling by -10.8% and department store sales decreased by just -4.4%.
Statistician, Stephanie Kelleher, said the retail sector was significantly impacted by the pandemic last year, particularly during the first lockdown:
“The Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions imposed had a significant impact on the retail sector in 2020. The year saw the highest seasonally adjusted monthly decrease in April (-35.7%) related to the first lockdown, followed by a sharp recovery in May 2020 (+32.8%) and June 2020 (+41.4%) as the country re-opened.”
While overall retail sales fell in the month of April, online transactions increased by 15.3%, however, according to Ms Kelleher “as traditional shopping reopened, the proportion of transactions online fell.”
However, other sectors such as hardware, motor trades and supermarkets saw an increase in sales.
Ms Kelleher said there was a “substantial growth” in sales for supermarkets and specialised stores such as off-licences, which saw a 19.8% growth last year.