Few pre-Christmas tidings of joy for Irish retailers as cost pressures hit hard

The sector is facing spiralling costs, massive energy bills, staff shortages and lower customer spend as it enters what should be the year’s busiest period

Grafton Street in Dublin: while most of the empty units there have been taken up since the end of the pandemic, the wider retail sector is facing a tough winter. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Brian Fox is in no doubt about just how important the energy efficiency of shop units is about to become to retailers. Soaring inflation will, according to the head of Regatta Great Outdoors, see energy costs become as big a consideration as rent and staffing.

“When I did feasibility studies in the past, if I was thinking of opening a new unit, they were around rents, service charges, staff costs and capital expenditure,” Fox told the Business Post. “Now added to that are the utility costs.”