Crunch time approaches for Irish retailers
Following Retail Ireland's prediction that Irish households will spend an average of €2,654 in shops this December, director Thomas Burke says "maintaining this momentum, up to and beyond Monday, must now be the objective."
22 December 2017 | 0
Retailers are bracing themselves for a late surge over the coming days as Christmas Day draws closer, according to Ibec group Retail Ireland. With Christmas Day falling on a Monday this year, retailers expect a flurry of activity this weekend.
Reports of brisk trading in recent days gives rise to hope that earlier positive expectations can be realised before the end of what is the most important trading period of the year. Irish retailers transact as much as 30% of their turnover in a little under six weeks around the Christmas period.
In its recently published Christmas Retail Monitor 2017, Retail Ireland predicted that Irish households will spend an average of €2,654 in shops this December, approximately €870 more than any other month of this year and roughly 2.6% more than Christmas 2016.
The monitor predicts an increase in total sales of over €100 million, with sales over the Christmas season expected to top €4.5 billion, up from €4.4 billion in 2016. However, with a greater number of Irish shoppers now choosing to shop on foreign websites, the challenge for Irish retailers will be to ensure that this buoyancy is felt locally and that Irish based retailers benefit from this anticipated additional spending.
“As we flagged earlier this month, rising disposable incomes, more people at work, and falling prices were a cause for optimism amongst Irish consumers in advance of Christmas 2017, and thus far this positivity has been reflected in activity in store,” said Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke.
“Ongoing low prices in Irish stores will help in that regard, and initial reports would suggest slow and steady, if not spectacular, growth on Christmas 2016,” Burke added. “Maintaining this positive momentum, up to and beyond Monday, must now be the objective.”