Online shopping major treat to local businesses

by Amy Rohu
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 Amy Rohu

According to a new Champion Green report by economist Jim Power, it is ‘make or break time’ for the Irish retail sector, and particularly for locally owned high-street stores.

With the current situation surrounding the Omicron variant, some people are cautious about physical Christmas shopping, the economist says, so online purchases have become a more significant feature of the market.  

Figures show that non-food retail sales, our expenditure on the likes of fashion and gifts, is the consumer spend most vulnerable to online purchasing from overseas retailers.

In the month leading up to Christmas, consumers in Ireland will spend around €5 billion in-store and online, across both domestic and multi-national retail brands. 

It is vitally important for the domestic economy and for jobs that Irish consumers do their best to safely shop physically or to ‘click and collect’ with businesses local to them, according to Jim Power:

“For retailers, November and December are the two most important months of the year, when they typically earn 70 per cent of annual profit, and up to 50 per cent of revenue.  This money goes back into local economies through jobs and taxation.  Overseas purchasing is money that is lost to Ireland.”

He continued: “It is clear and very concerning that parts of the retail sector have been hit very badly by the pandemic and the restrictions put in place to protect the health of the nation.

Irish consumers and policymakers must recognise the importance of domestic SMEs, retailers, producers and manufacturers, in terms of jobs, service provision and local investment, and especially in relation to the vibrancy of our villages, towns and cities.”

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