By Max Ryan and John McAuliffe
Irish consumers look set to be among the biggest festive spenders in Europe yet again this year with Irish shoppers expected to spend €160 million more than last year, according to a report by Retail Ireland.
The report predicts an increase of 3.7% in consumer spending this December compared to last year, with total sales of €4.21 billion for the year, up from €4.05 billion in 2015.
Retail Ireland published its Christmas Retail Monitor report for 2016 on December 4th which predicts the Irish household will spend an average of €2,587 this December, approximately €720 more than any other month of the year and roughly €26 more than Christmas 2015.
Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: “The next few weeks are by far the most important trading period of the year and while retail sales growth has softened in recent weeks, retailers remain optimistic.”
Burke puts this down to a general improvement in the economy. “More people at work, a rise in disposable incomes and falling prices should lift the consumer mood and translate into increased sales,” he says.
“Currency pressures and a drop in consumer sentiment have made recent months difficult for many retailers but the retail sector’s challenge is the consumer’s opportunity. The coming weeks will see heavy pre-Christmas discounting, and a New Year sales bonanza.”
The average Irish adult spent nearly €600 last December with 11% spending more than €1,000, a slight drop from the 2014 figures.
The most popular budget among Christmas shoppers in Ireland for the last four years (and expected to remain so) is the €301-€500 range, with 30% of consumers keeping their spend within this margin.