Irish consumers remain the biggest spenders in Europe in the run up to Christmas 2013, according to the annual Deloitte Christmas Spending Survey.
The report, which surveyed 773 Irish and a total of 17,354 Europeans, shows that the average spend in Ireland this Christmas will be €894 per household, which is about 1.7% less than last year.
While the majority of Irish Christmas budgets will go on gifts (30%) around €484.81, the good news for grocery retailers is that 28% (approximately €258.84) will be spent on food, while 24%, €150.76, will be spent on socialising.
Also important to note from the results was that survey participants felt that 'lowest price' was the most important attribute for Irish consumers when choosing a retailer. A big difference in buying patterns from last year, is that the majority of Irish consumers will not buy on impulse and will take price into account before purchasing.
Kevin Sheehan, head of consumer business at Deloitte, told Retail Intelligence, "Interestingly, food and drinks rank eighth on the list of gifts that Irish adults would like to receive. This is an important finding for grocery retailers to keep in mind as not all food purchased is for the consumer themselves, and a proportion of all food or drinks purchased during the festive season are in fact given to family and friends as gifts."
The report revealed that both Irish and European morale remains low amongst shoppers, but for the first time since 2008, European countries are optimistic about the current state of the economy. Irish women were noted to have a more pessimistic outlook on the expected state of the economy, compared to Irish men.
The Deloitte survey found that the spending power of almost half (48%) of Irish consumers has decreased, while 41% of Europeans believe their purchasing power has diminished this year. In general though, Irish shoppers are optimistic about their spending power in 2014, as are most Europeans.
When it comes to loyalty schemes, 43% of Irish consumers preferred immediate discounts such as cash off in store, which puts Irish consumers above the average for considering loyalty/reward programmes as part of their decision making process. Personalised offer and loyalty schemes were the second most important factor to consider for Irish shoppers, after price for both men and women.
Sheehan said, "When asked what they deemed the most important attributes of a retailer, unsurprisingly, offering lower prices ranked first, followed by offering personalised promotions and offers, and a loyalty programme with rewards that are valued by the consumer. Irish consumers favour buying and searching for food and drink products in-store, as opposed to online, with 65% of Irish consumers favouring purchasing in store - not far off the European average of 67%."
Unnecessary spending will be cut once again by both Irish and European consumers, and interestingly, more Irish consumers are spending less than Europeans on entertainment, leisure, clothing and day-to-day spending. Irish consumers have stated that if required to they are happy to cut back further on these areas.
Sheehan said, "Irish consumers favour large supermarkets when purchasing food for the Christmas period, with 68% of Irish consumers ranking this as their first preference, followed by hard discount stores and traditional local food stores such as the bakery or the butchers."
© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson