Intense competition keeping retail prices down but cost pressures rising

February 20, 2020

Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today said new figures from the CSO highlight the intensity of competition in the retail sectors. While costs have risen by 1.3% across the economy in the last year, prices fell across almost all retail specific categories. Goods remained static at 0.0% whereas services increased by 1.2%.

Other key findings were:

  • Alcoholic drinks saw their combined average price fall by 0.5%.
  • Almost all retail specific categories continued to return a drop in price the largest falls being; Personal and home computers (-7.2%),
  • Home entertainment systems (-10.2%),
  • Equipment for outdoors, sports and camping (-8.1%),
  • Toiletries (-2.6%),Cameras (-4.8%), and, Games, toys and hobbies (-7.1%).

Meanwhile the following categories recorded an increase in average consumer price: Cigarettes and other tobacco products (6.4%) and Newspapers/Magazines (5.9%), Petrol (9.9%) and Diesel (7.7%)

Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon said: “While intense competition is keeping retail prices low, cost pressures continue to rise. Rising insurance premiums, fraudulent and exaggerated claims and general inefficiencies in our insurance market have become a major challenge for retailers in recent years. Awards for soft tissue injuries in Ireland are over four times those of the UK and are unsustainable. Reform has been promised, but we’re still waiting for change.”