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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Retail Sales Index

November 2020 (Provisional) October 2020 (Final)

Seasonally Adjusted Retail Sales Index - All Businesses
 (Base Year 2015 = 100)
     Volume IndexValue Index
November 2019120.0111.3
October 2020131.1117.4
November 2020114.3101.4
Monthly % change-12.8-13.7
Annual % change-4.7-8.9

Volume of Retail Sales decreased by 12.8% in November 2020

Figure 1 Retail Sales Index - Seasonally Adjusted Volume
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The volume of retail sales decreased by 12.8% in November 2020 when compared to October 2020 on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an annual basis, retail volumes were 4.7% lower in November 2020 compared with November 2019. See Table 1.

When Motor Trades are excluded, the volume of retail sales decreased by 12.0% in November 2020 over the previous month and decreased by 3.3% when compared with November 2019. See Table 2. 

The volume of sales increased in the month for Fuel (+12.1%) and Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles (+0.3%). The monthly volume of sales fell in Bars (-63.9%), Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (-50.9%), Furniture & Lighting (-47.4%), Department Stores (-31.7%), Other Retail Sales (-23.7%), Motor Trades (-15.9%), Books, Newspapers & Stationery (-9.6%), Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) (-4.0%), Hardware, Paints & Glass (-3.3%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco (-1.5%). The volume of Electrical Goods showed no change compared to the previous month.

Retail sales in November were 3.8% lower than in February 2020 before the crisis started. The sectors which were lower than February were Bars (-91.0%), Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (-55.9%), Furniture & Lighting (-39.4%), Department Stores (-33.6%), Books, Newspapers and Stationery (-21.2%), Fuel (-10.9%) and Motor Trades (-5.6%).  All other sectors had sales greater than they had in February 2020.  The Sectors with the highest increases since February were Hardware, Paints & Glass (+29.4%), Electrical Goods (+27.1%) and Food, Beverages & Tobacco (+23.4%).

Compared with November 2019, the volume of retail sales was still lower in Bars (-91.2%), Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (-57.6%), Furniture & Lighting (-36.9%), Department Stores (-33.1%), Books, Newspapers and Stationery (-21.4%), Fuel (-12.8%) and Motor Trades (-9.8%). The volume of retail sales was higher in November 2020 compared to the same period of last year in Electrical Goods (+32.7%), Hardware, Paint & Glass (+25.7%), Food, Beverages & Tobacco (+22.7%), Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles (+16.8%), Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) (+11.3%) and Other Retail Sales (+4.9%).

The proportion of retail sales transacted online (from Irish registered companies) increased to 12.3% in November from 6.0% in October. This is below the high of 15.3% recorded in April at the height of the first lockdown. See Tables 6 and 7.

The value of retail sales was 13.7% lower in November 2020 than in October. The annual change in the value of retail sales was a decrease of 8.9%. Excluding Motor Trades, the value of retail sales decreased by 13.0% in the month and fell by 9.3% on an annual basis.

Unadjusted indices are available on CSO Statbank.