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Consumer Spend & Revenues Expected to Grow At Christmas, Say Irish Retailers

A new survey by Barclays Bank Ireland shows that Irish retailers are feeling considerably more optimistic about consumer spending and trading revenues this Christmas, compared to last year.

The research, which surveyed Irish retailers across a range of retail categories, showed that 68% expected shoppers to spend more this festive season, up from 40% in 2013. As a result, 60% of retailers also said they expected their revenues to improve this Christmas, compared to just 28% last year.

Meanwhile, 44% of retailers believed that sales would improve by up to 10% year on year, while 16% said they would improve dramatically, by more than 10%.

However, regarding threats to the success of Christmas trading this year, over half (52%) of retailers ranked a fall in consumer confidence as the number one risk, compared to 28% last year. IT or systems failures (48%) and website failures (42%) were ranked as the second and third greatest threats respectively.

Helen Kelly, Head of Large Corporates for Barclays Bank Ireland, said that it is encouraging to see that following a year of gradual economic recovery and a more positive Budget than expected for Irish consumers, retailer sentiment continues to improve.

She said, "Hopefully retailers’ expectations will materialise, which would not only offer a significant boost to their revenues but would help to underpin the wider recovery of the retail sector in Ireland."

The survey also found that retailers anticipate the Saturday before Christmas (December 20) will be the busiest day in-store, along with Christmas Eve. In addition, the report showed that consumers are continuing to migrate towards shopping via a mobile device, with 68% of retailers surveyed expecting purchases made by smartphone and tablet to grow by 79% this year, compared to 50% in 2013.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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