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Online Outperforms Face-To-Face Shopping In March: Visa Index

Online spending showed a solid expansion of +2.7%, outperforming Face-to-Face expenditure in March, according to Visa’s Irish Consumer Spending Index.

The report which measures expenditure across all payment types (cash, cheques and electronic payments), signalled a slowdown in the pace of growth in March amid severe weather disruption at the start of the month.

For the first time in six months, growth in eCommerce spending outpaced that seen for Face-to-Face expenditure. eCommerce saw a +2.7% increase in spending, while the rise of +0.7% in Face-to-Face categories was the weakest in the current seven-month sequence of growth as extreme weather deterred people from the high street.

“March’s figures highlight the impact of Storm Emma, with the bad weather preventing some Face-to-Face spending on the high street and influencing the general slowdown of expenditure growth for the month,” said Philip Konopik, country manager, Ireland, Visa.

“However, while the poor weather had a negative impact on some sectors, the Irish grocery market experienced strong sales growth during the month, no doubt aided by this year’s early Easter.”

Strongest Sector

That said, spending continued to rise on an annual basis, extending the current sequence of expansion to 13 months.

The index indicated that the strongest performing sector was Food & Drink (with an increase of +8.5%), which was boosted by a relatively early Easter and a spike in sales the week after Storm Emma, representing the fastest rise since February 2016.

© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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