Dublin City BID points to strong performance by Dublin City Centre in 2011 retail sales, with footfall up 8.5% on 2010
- BID calls on Government to bring forward Budget Day 2012 to stimulate consumer spending -
Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID) today welcomed the figures released by the Central Statistics Office which showed that the volume of retail sales increased by 2.1% in December 2011 when compared with November 2011.
Figures collated by Dublin City BID show that footfall in Dublin City Centre in December was up 8.5% on 2010, almost reaching the levels last seen in 2009.
Commenting on the figures, Richard Guiney, CEO of Dublin City BID said: ‘The figures published by the CSO are welcome news, however it is important to note the effect of a strong performance in certain sectors – namely the motor trade – which have had the effect of skewing the overall picture somewhat.
The footfall figures we collated from the BID area footfall cameras in Dublin City Centre, which takes in the commercial heart of the city show that footfall was up 8.5% on 2010. Feedback from our members suggests that sales exceeded expectations for the Christmas period and that this was across both the retail and leisure sectors. The department stores in the BID area performed particularly well and this is backed up by the CSO stats, which showed an increase of 8.1%.
We put this down to a strong spirit of cooperation between businesses in the City to market Dublin City Centre as a great place to shop and spend time. For example our Dublin At Christmas campaign, which was put together by a marketing committee made up of our members and stakeholders including Dublin Bus, Luas and the Dublin City Council, brought Christmas lights to a total of 30 streets this year and introduced highly successful initiatives such as the Shop and Drop programme which received a strong response from consumers.
However, there is no denying that more needs to be done to stimulate consumer confidence and get people spending again. We would urge the Government to review the VAT increase at the first available opportunity – we need Government action to protect and grow these sales and footfall figures and to protect jobs.
We also call on the Government to bring forward the 2012 Budget to mid-November. Budget Day being in mid December has a profoundly negative effect on pre-Christmas spending levels as consumers are less likely to spend until they know the effect of the Budget on their pay packets. For the past couple of years, Christmas spending levels have only really begun to increase after the Budget is announced. This is a practical step the Government could take and it would produce a tangible benefit to retailers all over country.’
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