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CSO statistical publication, , 11am

This is a new experimental thematic publication by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on business statistics. A range of data was taken from existing data sources and analysed in greater detail in order to give an overall profile of a specific sector. This publication covers three sectors that are broadly covered in the Retail Sales Index and for the purposes of this publication have been grouped together and given the overall heading - the Retail Economy. The Retail Economy comprises NACE 45 - Motor Trades, NACE 47 - Retail Trade and NACE 56 - Food & Beverage Service Activities.

Key Facts

  • The Retail Economy generated turnover of €57.3 billion in 2020. More than two-thirds (€38.8 billion or 67.6%) of this was created in Retail Trade. Motor Trades generated turnover of €13.8 billion, representing almost one-quarter (24.2%) of the total turnover, and Food & Beverage Service Activities generated the remaining €4.7 billion (8.2%).
  • The Retail Economy had almost 48,500 active enterprises in 2020. Almost half of these enterprises (48.9%) operated in Retail Trade, almost one-third (31.7%) were engaged in Food & Beverage Service Activities, while the remaining one-fifth (19.3%) of enterprises were in Motor Trades.
  • There were almost 373,200 persons engaged in these three sectors with almost 225,000 (60%) in Retail Trade, more than 112,100 (30%) in Food & Beverage Service Activities and more than 36,100 engaged in Motor Trades (10%).
  • The Retail Economy purchased €43.9 billion worth of goods and services in 2020. Purchases of goods for resale accounted for the largest business cost, amounting to €37.7 billion or 73.5% of total costs, followed by labour costs (Wages & Salaries and Social Security costs) amounting to €7.3 billion or 14.2% of total costs.

The publication also presents a historical picture by comparing the content and related expenditure weights of the Basket of Consumer Goods and Services used in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in 1922 with the basket of goods and services from 2022. The differences reflect the changes in the standard of living, the range and choice of goods and services, the development of modern retailing, and technological progress over the last 100 years. In 1922, the main objective was the satisfaction of basic needs such as having food, clothing, and shelter. Choice was more limited compared with today's modern world and the vast majority of household income went on these basic necessities. The modern retail sector is vastly different from 100 years ago. For example, the first supermarket opened in Ireland in 1959.