Retail sales fell by close to 30% during lockdown, according to Retail Excellence.

The representative body has published a report on retail sales for the first and second quarter of this year, which compiles data from 4,500 stores across the country, covering nineteen sectors of the retail industry.

The report found that clothing and footwear stores, and coffee shops were among the worst effected, with sales down over 75%, while the demand for groceries surged in March.

Commenting on the report Duncan Graham, Managing Director of Retail Excellence said that pent up demand in June was not enough to offset large declines for many sectors.

"The Industry has seen the sharpest decline in sales in living memory with all non-essential retail closed across the state for nearly three months," he said.

The research highlights how shopping habits changed dramatically during the period, with online sales growing 200%, to expand the eCommerce market in Ireland by its fastest rate ever recorded.