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Monday 18 December 2017

Households set to spend €2,654 in Christmas spree

Shoppers are set to benefit
Shoppers are set to benefit

Christmas shoppers are to benefit from falling prices, with retailers set for a bumper festive spending period.

The average household is set to shell out €2,654 on the festivities as the tills ring out for Christmas.

This is up almost €70 on last year, and €870 more than a normal month, according to Retail Ireland, part of the Ibec lobby group.

Intense competition in the retail sector is set to see shops continuing to cut prices.

Record

The signs are that this festive season will set a spending record for the Irish retail trade, director of Retail Ireland Thomas Burke said.

This is despite a rise in consumers crossing the Border in search of bargains due to the Brexit-induced fall in the value of sterling.

Mr Burke said retailers are approaching Christmas with an air of confidence not seen in many years.

"As we move into the busy Christmas shopping festival, intense competition within the market means Irish retailers will likely continue to cut prices to drive footfall and sales," he said in a report.

"These falling prices, combined with rising disposable income, means consumers stand to benefit from even greater spending power."

He said retailers have seen sales volumes rise all year.

However, at the same time, the value of sales has fallen. This is evidence of ongoing deep discounting and price competition in the Irish retail market, the report states.

Online sales are set to top €16bn for the year by the end of December, it predicts.

Internet sales are growing six times faster than those in physical retail outlets.

But e-commerce only accounts for 10pc of total retail sales.

Disposable

Consumers and shops were benefiting from a 5.4pc rise in disposable income in the first half of the year.

Shoppers are continuing to gain from falling consumer prices, which were down 2.2pc in the first 10 months.

Food, clothing and furniture prices are the main items seeing price decreases.

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