Average household to spend over €2,690 in shops at Christmas
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, has recently published its Christmas Retail Monitor 2018 that predicts the Irish household 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 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.
A strong online performance over Black Friday weekend did impact footfall in traditional bricks and mortar outlets, however local retailers are reporting a significant increase in sales in their own online stores also. This would suggest that the consumer is ready to celebrate the festive season and retailers are bracing themselves for a busy 3-week period in the lead up to Christmas Day itself.
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.
The full report can be downloaded here.