Irish households to spend almost €2,700 this Christmas

A monitor predicts an increase in total sales of over €150m

Irish households to spend almost €2,700 this Christmas

Pictured people Christmas shopping on Henry Street in Dublin in 2017 | Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Irish households will spend an average of €2,690 in shops this December, according to Retail Ireland.

The Ibec group that represents the retail sector says this total is around €866 more than any other month of this year, and roughly 3% more than Christmas 2017.

The Christmas Retail Monitor predicts an increase in total sales of over €150m, with sales over the Christmas season expected to top €4.65bn - up from €4.5bn in 2017.

However it adds that with a greater number of Irish shoppers shopping 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."

Meanwhile it says a strong online performance over Black Friday weekend impacted footfall in traditional bricks and mortar outlets.

But local retailers are reporting a significant increase in sales in their own online stores also.

Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke says: "After what has been a tumultuous year of highs and low for Irish retailers, we have now reached a crucial juncture in terms of determining the end of year position for the sector.

"Rising disposable incomes, record numbers at work, and falling prices have all combined to give consumers greater spending power than ever before and will raise consumer spirts and enable greater spending power over the busy Christmas period.

Source: Retail Ireland

"While consumer sentiment has dipped somewhat 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, and consumers will embrace the festival of shopping that the Christmas season brings."

Retail Ireland says consumer goods prices have fallen by 0.8% in the first 10 months of 2018 and by 10% since 2013 - while retail sales in the first 10 months are up 2.8% in value terms on the same period in 2017.

And gross disposable income was up 4.4% in the first half of 2018, following on from growth of 5.7% in 2017.

In terms of expectations for retail categories, it says supermarkets and convenience stores expect to show year-on-year growth in both volume and value.

For department stores, Christmas performance is on target and up on Christmas 2017.

While a strong performance is expected in healthcare and personal care lines in pharmacies against last year and previous Christmas periods.

But it notes that the beauty category "is tough" due to increased competition and the rate of products and brands turnover within the category.