The retail sector is the largest private sector employer in the country and is an important part of the domestic economy. Retail is classified under Eurostat G47 NACE Classification.
The Retail Forum was established in June 2014. The purpose of the Forum is to allow key issues of relevance to the retail sector to be discussed, with a view to identifying practical actions which could be taken by Government, or by industry itself, to support the sector with particular emphasis on achieving sustainable jobs growth in the sector.
The Forum meets on a quarterly basis. View minutes of meetings of the Forum held since June 2014 and recent presentations made at Forum meetings.
Membership of the Forum includes retail representative bodies, retailers, the City and County Managers Association and government departments.
For the purposes of the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015, the Retail Forum is obliged to comply with the Transparency Code as it is exempted from registering on the Lobbying Register. This also applies to any Working Group set up by the Forum. The Retail Forum Terms of Reference outlines how the Forum operates. See also, the Retail Forum's Privacy Notice.
For queries in relation to the Retail Forum please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retail Forum Working Groups
Three Working Groups were convened in 2022 to drive actions in the Retail Forum’s Work Programme:
- Future of Retail – Town Centre First/Night-time Economy
Focus is to support relevant policy implementation of the Town Centre First Policy and the Report of the Night-Time Economy Task Force.
- Future of Retail – Digitalisation and Skills
Focus on driving digitalisation of the sector and working to support skills development.
- Future of Retail – Green Transition
Focus on driving best practice sustainability in the retail sector.
The Retail Forum Working Groups Terms of Reference outlines how they operate.
Membership of the Working Groups comprises of Retail Forum members and additional external practitioners who have a particular expertise or interest in an area under discussion.
The Working Groups are chaired by officials from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Secretariat is provided by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Current legislation relative to the retail sector.*
Agriculture and Food Supply Chain Bill 2022
Circular Economy and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2022
Consumer Rights Bill 2022
Policing, Security and Community Safety Bill
Sale of Alcohol Bill 2022
Separate Collection (Deposit Return Scheme) Regulations 2021
Sick Leave Act 2022
*This section includes current legislation relative to the retail sector which has been raised at Retail Forum meetings. This section is constantly under review.
Retail sector resources
Tailored guidance for retailers about available government schemes and supports:
Energy and Sustainability: Government schemes and resources for retailers
Energy Efficiency Guide for Retailers - SEAI (PDF, 24MB)
Education and training courses for retail
Leading the Way
Skills for Better Business
Apprenticeship in Retail Supervision (Employer Information) - Retail Ireland Skillnet
Government consultations relevant to the retail sector
Department of Social Protection: Public consultation for the Mid-Term Review of Pathways to Work 2021-2025, Ireland’s national employment services strategy (deadline for submissions is 5pm, Friday, 31 March 2023)
Retail sector study
The Future of the Irish Retail Sector report, commissioned by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and carried out by KPMG Future Analytics, was completed in October 2022. The Report sets out 14 recommendations which are now part of the Retail Forum’s Work Programme.
Statistics relating to retail can be found through the DETE Data Dashboard.
Local Enterprise Office
Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)
Retail and Services - CSO
Ireland's Retail Economy 2022 - CSO
Statistics - Central Bank of Ireland
Online Retail Scheme
White Paper on Enterprise 2022-2030
Bills and Acts of the Oireachtas