Deck the halls: Average household to spend almost €2,700 this Christmas
The Christmas Retail Monitor, published by Retail Ireland, predicts that Irish households will spend an average of €2,690 this Christmas, approximately €866 more than any other month and roughly 3% more than Christmas of 2017.
4 December 2018 | 0
Retail Ireland has published its Christmas Retail Monitor 2018, a document exploring trends among consumers and retailers this Christmas. Among the report’s findings, the Christmas Retail Monitor predicts that Irish households will spend an average of €2,690 in shops this December, approximately €866 more than any other month of this year and roughly 3% more than Christmas 2017.
The monitor predicts an increase in total sales of over €150 million, with sales over the Christmas season expected to top €4.65 billion, up from €4.5 billion in 2017. However, with a greater number of Irish shoppers now choosing to shop on overseas websites, the challenge for Irish retailers will be to ensure that this buoyancy is felt locally and that Irish retailers benefit from the anticipated additional spending.
Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke said that Ireland’s retail industry has reached a crucial juncture after a tumultuous year. “Rising disposable incomes, record numbers at work, and falling prices have all combined to give consumers greater spending power than ever before,” Burke said, “and will raise consumer spirts and enable greater spending power over the busy Christmas period.”
Meanwhile, Retail Ireland reports that consumer sentiment has in fact dipped in recent weeks, most likely owing to consumer fears around the impact of events such as Brexit. “Retailers are hoping that for the next three weeks at least these challenges can be set aside,” Burke added, “and consumers will embrace the festival of shopping that the Christmas season brings.
“There is no doubt the spending power is there, but the challenge for retailers is to best position themselves and convince consumers to part with that hard-earned cash in their stores and through their various other sales channels,” he said.
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 0.8% in the first ten months of 2018 and by 10% since 2013
- Retail sales in the first ten months of this year are up 2.8% in value terms on the same period in 2017
- Gross disposable income was up 4.4% in the first half of 2018, following on from growth of 5.7% in 2017
- Overall employment grew by 66,700 in the year to the end of the September 2018. The total number employed is now in excess of 2.27 million. There are now more people at work than at any time in the history of the State
- 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. Growth in the online sales channel is running at ten times that of traditional bricks and mortar outlets.
To explore the full Christmas Retail Monitor 2018 report, click here.