Volume of retail sales rises 3.8% in April 2022

Volume of retail sales rises 3.8% in April 2022

The volume of retail sales increased by 3.8% in the month and by 6.1% in the year to April 2022, according to the latest CSO figures.

Motor Trades (+33.0%), Bars (+23.7%) and Clothing & Footwear (+13.6%) recorded the largest monthly volume increases, while the largest monthly volume decreases were in Department Stores (-42.5%), Furniture & Lighting (-8.8%) and Hardware, Paints & Glass (-6.4%).

Bars (+531%), Clothing & Footwear (+282%) and Department Stores (+117%) accounted for the highest annual volume increases – however the comparison is with very a low base from a year ago when Level 5 restrictions were in force.

The volume of Retail Sales excluding Motor Trades rose by 1.0% in the month and by 12.9% in the year when compared to April 2021. Volume of Retail Sales was 9.7% higher in April 2022 than pre-COVID-19 levels in February 2020.

The proportion of Retail Sales transacted online (from Irish registered companies) was 4.8% in April 2022 compared with 5.0% in March 2022, 10.1% in April 2021 and 15.3% in April 2020.

Commenting on the release, Stephanie Kelleher, Statistician in the Business Division, said: “Several sectors showed very large annual increases in the volume of sales compared with April 2021, when a full lockdown of non-essential retail and services was in force. Bars rose by 531% compared with April 2021. Bars were closed in April 2021 except where there were ancillary services. Despite the large recovery in April 2022 over the previous year, Bar sales remained 24.4% lower than their pre-COVID-19 level in February 2020.

“Compared to February 2020 (26 months earlier and pre-COVID-19), the volume of Retail Sales in April 2022 was 9.7% higher. The highest increases were seen in Clothing & Footwear (+55.7%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco (Specialised Stores) (+15.1%) and Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles (+14.5%).

“The largest decreases in the volume of sales in April 2022 when compared to February 2020 levels, were Department Stores (-40.9%), Books, Newspapers & Stationery (-27.5%) and Bars (-24.4%).”