Irish shoppers now account for more than 60% of Penneys’ global fake tan sales.
The retailer has today published its first-ever ‘Pulse of the Nation’ index – which examines how households are responding to the cost-of-living crisis.
The report involves a survey of 1,2000 adults conducted on behalf of Penneys by Amárach Research as well as the latest Penneys sales trends.
It shows that there are some ‘little luxuries’ Irish shoppers are refusing to give up despite the rise in inflation – with recent months seeing a surge in demand for health and beauty products such as skincare, cosmetics, and fragrances.
Fake tan continues to be one of Penneys top-selling cosmetics – with Ireland accounting for over 60% of the retailer’s global fake tan sales.
That is despite the country having five times fewer stores than the UK.
On Breakfast Business this morning, Amárach Research Chair Gerard O’Neill said the data shows people are “really trying to look for opportunities to treat themselves”.
“Ireland makes up 60% of all their fake tan globally across 15 countries so people want to look good and feel good,” he said.
“They’re also spending money on suitcases for short trips maybe if they can’t afford the big family break.
“All of these things say to us that, while there is a cost-of-living crisis and Penneys shoppers face it just like anybody else, they are in fact using the bargains and deals that they can get in order to treat themselves a little bit and enjoy life a little bit.”
The research also showed that customers are responding to the cost-of-living crisis by purchasing warm and comfortable home wear.
Sales of ‘snoodies’ are up 100% while velvet plush leggings are up 160%.
“People were doing four or five different things to keep their energy bills down,” said Mr O’Neill.
“That might be wearing the snoodie at home or the velvet leggings and by doing that, they were protecting their families from the worst of the bill shock that resulted from the rise in oil, gas and electricity prices.”
He said the survey found that most people are not planning to take any savings they may have made in the last year and “spend it this year on treats for themselves and for their families”.
“The encouraging thing about that is, it sort of backs up almost the forecasts from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development” telling us Ireland won’t have a recession and consumer spending will actually grow this year despite high inflation,” said Mr O’Neill.
The survey also found that just over half of people are happy with their quality of life, but four in ten feel it has got worse in the last quarter as their finances came under pressure from rising costs.
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