Online shopping "bucking the trend" of struggling retail sector

Irish shoppers are now looking to the UK...

Online shopping "bucking the trend" of struggling retail sector

Kevin Marks, Flickr

Conventional shops have seen a drop in sales, as Irish consumers spend online to take advantage of the weakened of sterling.

The new Visa Irish Consumer Spending Index indicates "face-to-face" spending in shops fell slightly (nearly 0.5%) in the last 12 months, while online spending jumped 15%.

Overall, the consumer spending index is showing its weakest growth in nearly a year and a half.

Visa's Philip Konopik has said that the fall in the value of the British currency seems to be driving the growth in online shopping, with Irish shoppers making bigger purchases from UK websites:

"With a general downwards trend in consumer expenditure... ecommerce is essentially bucking the trend so we assume that the sterling has a significant impact there."

Overall, however, Konopik noted that it is an uncertain time for retailers.

He said:

"We're seeing a slowdown in costumer expenditure and I think the general economic outlook and the level of uncertainty that is now affecting markets will definitely have an impact on that. I think that we will have to wait and see if this is a blip which will bounce back over Christmas."