Clare Retailers Says No Light At End Of Tunnel Over Supply Issues

Photo (c) Ijansa via

A Clare retailer says there’s no light at the end of the tunnel regarding ongoing supply issues caused by Brexit and the pandemic.

The dramatic rise in the cost of freight containers used to ship goods, coupled with a shortage in raw materials are said to be causing ‘havoc’ for retailers in this county as Clare FM’s Melissa McMahon reports.


Recent CSO statistics show that the volume of retail sales remained stable in September 2021, showing a slight increase on August’s figures.

However on the ground retailers are reporting higher levels of activity than normal in the run-up to the Christmas period.

This comes amidst ongoing supply issues caused by Brexit and the pandemic.

Aoife Madden of Maddens Furniture in Ennis says the cost of a freight container to ship goods from the US has risen from 3,000 to 20,000 dollars – this is excluding the cost of the goods themselves.

As a result, the Ennis furniture suppliers have turned to the European market for goods, however suppliers stopped taking orders for Christmas in August.

Director and Manager of the outlet, Aoife Madden, says operating a business in these trying times is like trying to look into a crystal ball.

Meanwhile, a prominent clothing retailer in this county says that despite being more highly stocked now than in previous years, they still have stock gaps of 10 to 15 percent.

Patrick Bourke of Bourke’s menswear in Ennis and Kilrush, says there are holes he simply cannot fill.

Additionally, the menswear supplier says he’s also battling staffing shortages.