Irish household will spend an average of €2,690 in shops this December, approximately €866 more than any other month of this year and roughly 3% more than Christmas 2017, research shows.
According to Retail Ireland's Christmas Retail Monitor 2018, published today the group predicts an increase in total sales of over €150 million, with sales over the Christmas season expected to top €4.65 billion, up from €4.5 billion in 2017.
"Rising disposable incomes, record numbers at work, and falling prices have all combined to give consumers greater spending power than ever before and will raise consumer spirts and enable greater spending power over the busy Christmas period," Thomas Burke, director, Retail Ireland Director said.
The research indicated that the sector expects to show year on year growth in both volume and value.
"There is no doubt the spending power is there, the challenge now for retailers is to best position themselves over this key trading period to convince consumers to part with that hard-earned cash in their stores and through their various other sales channels," Burke added.
'Early indications are that heavy discounting is taking place further out from Christmas than previous years, particularly on alcohol, seasonal confectionery and biscuit lines,' the Ibec group that represents the sector said in a statement.
The group said that competition is already cutthroat and while short term the shopper will be the winner, in the long term, endemic loss leading will negatively impact the health of the sector.
According to the report take home alcohol will show volume growth this year, with the balance between on and off trade moving towards drinking at home.
There is some evidence that new drink driving laws are impacting the on trade, particularly in rural areas. Discounting of fresh produce in the week before Christmas is not expected to be as deep as in previous years.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.