Irish households will spend more than €2,600 this Christmas

The "cyber week" sales were a big boost for retailers - to a point
The "cyber week" sales were a big boost for retailers - to a point

Retail Ireland has revealed that Christmas spending overall will be up on the same period last year, despite the ever-present challenge that online retailing is presenting to the industry.

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8 December 2017 | 0

Retail Ireland has published its Christmas Retail Monitor 2017, which predicts the Irish household will spend an average of €2,654 in shops this December. This represents approximately €870 more than any other month of this year, and roughly 2.6% more than Christmas 2016.

Overall, sales will increase by more than €100m, while spending will top €4.5bn.

“After an uncertain period politically, retailers are looking forward to the Christmas period with renewed optimism,” says Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke. “Rising disposable incomes, more people at work and falling prices will raise consumer spirits, and enable greater power over the busy Christmas period.”

The report goes on to say that the challenge retailers face this Christmas will be the competition posed by online international shopping, which a greater number of consumers are opting for. Retailers need to ensure the bouyancy is felt locally, and that Irish retailers benefit from the additional spending.

The growing migration by Irish consumers online over recent months is creating a challenge for Irish retailers. Local traders have to date been unable to stem the flow of close to 75% of online consumer spending that currently leaves Ireland.

“The online consumer offer is stronger than at any point in times past,” says Burke. “Irish retailers also continue to focus on getting their instore activity right in these crucial trading weeks and will be seeking to capitalise upon an increasing willingness on the part of consumers to spend their greater levels of disposable income.”

Key indicators point to retail prices remaining low, thanks in part to intense competition between retailers and positive currency movements. Other insights from the monitor include:

  • Consumer goods prices have fallen by 2.2% in the first ten months of 2017 and by 8.4% in the last three years. This pattern is set to continue as consumers avail of record discounts arising from Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales
  • Retail sales in the first ten months of this year are up 3.9% in value terms on the same period in 2016
  • Gross disposable income was up 5.4% in the first half of 2017, following on from growth of over 4% in 2016
  • Overall employment grew by 2.9% in the first half of 2017. The labour market is now approaching full employment with unemployment at its lowest rate since 2008
  • Central Bank statistics show that total e-commerce spend is likely to exceed €16 billion before year end. This would represent a close to 50% increase since 2015, highlighting the increasing number of Irish consumers shopping online. The uplift in online sales in the online channel is running at six times that of traditional bricks and mortar outlets.

 

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