Retail Ireland today published its Christmas Retail Monitor 2016 which predicts the Irish household will spend an average of €26 more than Christmas 2015.
The report forecasts an increase of 3.7% in consumer spending this December compared to last year with total sales of €4.21 billion up from €4.05 billion in 2015. This works out at an overall increase of €160 million.
It also shows that Irish households are likely to spend €2,587 this December, approximately €720 more than any other month of the year.
The challenge for Irish retailers this Christmas will be to ensure that that Irish based retailers benefit from this additional spending.
Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: "The next few weeks are by far the most important trading period of the year. While retail sales growth has softened in recent weeks, retailers remain optimistic. More people at work, a rise in disposable incomes and falling prices should lift the consumer mood and translate into increased sales. Currency pressures and a drop in consumer sentiment have made recent months difficult for many retailers. But the retail sector's challenge is the consumer's opportunity. The coming weeks will see heavy pre-Christmas discounting, and a New Year sales bonanza."
Where supermarkets and convenience stores are concerned, Burke said with the grocery and convenience market back in growth, the outlook for Christmas 2016 trading is at worst neutral. The sterling weakness of recent months is adding to deflation in this sector. There is concern at cross border leakage of trade as UK prices are highlighted and robust weekend trade from Southern shoppers is reported in border towns in Northern Ireland.
The Retail Monitor also highlighted that consumer prices have fallen every month since the Brexit vote as currency shifts influence retailers pricing strategies. Also, while prices are falling, there has been a significant rise in disposable income across the economy. Gross disposable income was up 1.8% in the first half of 2016 having grown 5.3% in 2015.
The monitor tracks key trends across the economy and sector to give an insight into how they are likely to impact the key Christmas trading period.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern