Irish households 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. This is according to Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector.
The group's Christmas Retail Monitor 2018 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.
However, with a greater number of Irish shoppers now choosing to shop on foreign websites, Retail Ireland say the challenge for Irish retailers will be to ensure that this buoyancy is felt locally and that Irish based retailers benefit from this anticipated additional spending.
Central Bank statistics show that total e-commerce spend is likely to exceed €16 billion before year end. This would represent a close to 50% increase since 2015, highlighting the increasing number of Irish consumers shopping online. Growth in the online sales channel is running at ten times that of traditional bricks and mortar outlets.
Commenting on the monitor, Retail Ireland Director, Thomas Burke said, "While consumer sentiment has dipped somewhat in recent weeks, most likely owing to consumer fears around the impact of events such as Brexit, retailers are hoping that for the next three weeks at least these challenges can be set aside, and consumers will embrace the festival of shopping that the Christmas season brings."
He added, "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."