Garden centres take biggest hit but jewellery, computers and clothing see sales slump

Not shopping weather. Photograph: Alan Betson
Not shopping weather. Photograph: Alan Betson

The latest industry research has laid bare the full extent of the damage wrought by the March “beast from the east” snowstorm on retail sales.

Figures provided by Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), an industry lobby group, show that despite the improving economy, like-for-like sales were down 1.2 per cent in March, and a fifth of 1 per cent overall in the first quarter.

The decline comes despite a comparative boost delivered to first-quarter sales by the fact that Easter fell in March this year, and not in April as in 2017.

REI’s chief executive, David Fitzsimons, said the inclement weather negatively impacted most on the 19 retail sectors examined in its first-quarter Productivity Review, which it produces in association with research firm GfK and Grant Thornton. It collates electronic sales…