Retail Ireland predicts that this year’s Christmas period will be the best Irish retailers have seen for seven years, as January tax cuts boost consumer sentiment.
In its Q3 Retail Ireland Monitor, the Ibec group also highlights how a weak euro is also attracting more tourists, with businesses in Dublin centres particularly benefitting.
Meanwhile, a survey of more than14,000 shoppers suggests that nearly half (46.9%) hope to get most of their Christmas shopping done in November,
Retail Ireland expects core retail sales for December 2015 to be as high as €4.05 billion, an increase of 3.5% from figures in 2014. Furthermore, consumer spending growth for 2015 versus last year will top 3.1%.
It is also predicted that personal consumption expenditure on core retail goods in December will be the equivalent of €2,450 per household, or about €600 more spending per household than in any other month of the year.
Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke commented, “The Christmas period accounts for over 30% of total sales in certain categories of retail, with nearly half of shoppers planning to complete their Christmas shopping in November.”
He noted, “The coming weeks will determine the overall annual performance for many retailers, and follows a broadly positive year to date.”
However, he added that while we are seeing positive trends in retail, this year’s sales are still expected to be 12.2% down on those of 2007, and that recovery is uneven, with Dublin and other urban centres seeing significantly more gains than the rest of the country.
Burke also welcomed the Government’s decision to double the tax-free allowance on gift vouchers from €250 to €500, saying, “This progressive move will allow employers to recognise the contribution of employees to their businesses in a given year without the previously punitive tax implications.”
The Q3 Retail Monitor also reports that retail sales values in 2015 to September are up by 2.4%, with a strong rebound in furniture, homewares, fashion and electronics.
However, for supermarkets and convenience stores, falling consumer prices are still holding back value growth.
[Photo courtesy of Kevin Dooley, 2008.]
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.