Nearly half of Ireland’s shoppers are falling out of love with online shopping, according to a new Penneys survey.
The survey found that 46% of Irish consumers are "less interested" in shopping online – and six-in-ten feel shopping in-store is more enjoyable than online.
Reporting for The Pat Kenny Show, Newstalk’s Sarah Madden said it flies in the face of the long-term "narrative" that the “future is online" for shopping.
"Online commerce is where it's at, but this research suggests that that may not actually be the case," she said.
Despite not offering an online option, Penney's has still managed to hold onto its popularity in the Irish retail market.
"You may remember those great lines of people outside the stores reopened during the pandemic," Sarah told the show.
Speaking to shoppers on the streets of Dublin, Sarah discovered that some consumers see in-store shopping as a more sustainable option.
"I'm trying to be better at not shopping impulsively," one customer told Sarah.
"So, I actually do shop a lot more in-store but I mostly shop second-hand actually."
Another Dubliner said online shopping is not as convenient for her as in-store.
"I don't like ordering online because then when the parcel comes, and you're not there and you miss it, it's a whole ordeal of going down to try to collect it," she said.
One woman said she still favoured online shopping, as she preferred the comfort of her own home.
"I think online is just easier and quicker," she said.
During a browse through an online store, one shopper reported "accidentally" ordering something.
"I didn't even mean to order it, I was looking at it and then it just showed up in my house the next week," she said.
"I don't really like it, so, it kind of sucks."
Sarah told the show that many of the old conveniences of shopping online have been rolled back, with certain retailers now charging for returns.
"One person on Twitter summed up the mood by saying, 'The fun is actually over'," she said.
Sarah said the findings of the study revealed that 21% of shoppers said concerns around their carbon footprint are part of the allure of in-store shopping.
Environmentalist and architect, Duncan Stewart, told the show that this is a valid concern, as "the impact of online shopping is typically much greater" than in-store.
"An awful of our products come from China, and an awful lot of these are very high in their environmental impacts from that distance," he said.
Mr Stewart noted that over "30 to 40%" of online purchases are returned.
"That really makes online shopping incredibly carbon-intensive," he said.
"If you think of online shopping, there's a massive amount of packaging and plastics being used ... very little of that gets recycled.
"Shopping in town, there's a quality-of-life issue. There's a sense you're sharing with others.
"In my view, it's a much better and even more environmentally better way of shopping."