Irish indies are feeling more buoyant about future trade after the outcome of the country’s general election, which was held on February 25.
With the newly elected coalition between the Fine Gael and Labour parties now in power in the Republic, there is a general consensus among retailers spoken to by Drapers that consumer confidence will bounce back, following a long period of uncertainty and tough trading.
Tom Barry, owner of Barry’s Menswear in Mallow, believes people were waiting to see what the outcome of the election was and that, now it has been decided, things will slowly start to pick up.
He said: “People have taken a big hit while the economy has been bad, so it will take a few months to get over that, but I definitely think things are on the up.”
This is a view shared by Louis Copeland, owner of the eponymous indie, which has five stores in Dublin. He said: “Retail is all about confidence, and people have really lacked confidence over the last few months. Hopefully now, though, this will start to return and I have a feeling this year things are going to get better.”
Nora McDonnell, manager of contemporary womenswear indie Bella Sola in Newcastle West, said she has seen business start to pick up since the election. She said: “I’m very optimistic after this. So far it’s been a good start. Everyone was really pessimistic at the start of the season, but things are looking a lot more optimistic now.”
However, not everyone believes the new Government will make much difference to the trading outlook this year. Martin O’Byrne, owner of premium menswear indie Frewen & Aylward in Dun Laoghaire, near Dublin, said: “It can do no harm - anybody that’s in can’t be as bad as the last Government, but it’s only going to be different faces on the telly telling us the same bad news.”