Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector and ecommerce group WebLoyalty have both released reports on expected Christmas spending this year in the Irish retail sector.
According to Retail Ireland, retail sales are up 2.3% in value terms in the first ten months of the year, year-on-year.
While total disposable income levels at the end of 2014 were still 10% down on 2008 levels, it is expected the gap will have closed significantly this year.
Consumer sentiment has soared by over 10% in the first 10 months of 2015. The positive correlation between enhanced consumer confidence and retail sales performance indicates that spending should continue to improve throughout the coming months.
Prices this Christmas are expected to stay down as competition in the sector remains intense. Goods inflation is currently at -4% annually, with prices this December on course to be at their lowest level since December 2001.
The grocery sector continues to be the most challenged of the retail sectors, with companies reporting an almost insatiable appetite among consumers for value, thus causing margin to suffer at the expense of volume.
Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: "Irish retailers are optimistic as we head into the hectic Christmas period. The next few weeks are by far the most important trading period of the year, and key indicators are pointing in the right direction. More people are at work, disposable income is rising and the Irish consumer is more positive about the future."
Elsewhere, according to a new report by ecommerce group Webloyalty, Irish consumers will spend €543.9 million on food this Christmas, up €34.2 million on last year. According to the report, almost half (49%) will spend in excess of €150 on festive food.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Niall Swan.