Last year, the independent retail sector claims that takings were 120 million short of 2011, when takings were 40 million euros down on 2010 and, on the back of the sharp downward trend, few small to medium sized businesses see the situation improving this year.
The association and its hundreds of members have reported that not only were takings down last year, so too were customers which in turn led to job cuts in the sector.
PIMECO said that it is extremely concerned about the market situation and that there are no signs of consumer confidence improving.
Now that the government has freed up the retail sector so that if can offer special discounts throughout the year, as opposed to only during the two annual sales periods, the retail sector, along with government, thought that year-round savings would boost trade.
53 per cent of the small to medium sized businesses canvassed claimed that takings for 2012 were well down on the previous year.
29 percent claimed that sales were about the same while only 18 percent said that it has seen takings increase.
According to PIMECO, the biggest problems have been the increase in IVA (VAT) in September, higher taxes on wages, wages being cut or frozen, bonuses being axed and rising unemployment. People just do not want to risk spending money at a time they are trying to save for an uncertain future, a PIMECO source said.