The CBRE's latest half-yearly research report "Global Prime Retail Rents" revealed that Dublin's  prime retail rents in the first quarter of 2017 had the 5th highest percentage year on year growth rate increase in the world.  

This certainly supports the argument that Ireland's retail sector is buoyant.  Irish retail sales grew by nearly 5 per cent in the 12 months to January 2017, suggesting the weakness in sterling is not dampening activity in the sector.

The performance of prime Dublin retail does not necessarily reflect the general retail performance across the country.  Clearly, the lack of supply of good quality retail property in prime locations in Dublin is pushing up the rents in those areas. Most of the desirable schemes are at full or near full capacity. 

Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, on 26 June joined forces with the British Retail Consortium and the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium to explore the implications for the sector arising from Brexit.  Whilst CBRE's report paints a picture that Dublin prime retail is robust, there is a real fear across the country of an negative impact of Brexit on retailers and consumers.  Speaking ahead of the meeting,  Thomas Burke, Director of Retail Ireland stated: β€œThe retail sector in Ireland faces significant challenges arising from the decision of the UK to leave the European Union, due to the close supply chains between the two economies and the numerous high street retail brands operating across both markets. While the recent UK general election opens the door for fresh debate on what Brexit may look like, one thing is clear; Brexit uncertainty is already negatively impacting consumer spend and business competitiveness, and is increasing exchange rate volatility. It will continue to be a major risk factor for Irish retailers in the coming years.”