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Pre-Christmas splurge gifts retailers 6pc bounce on 2019

Big return to spending in person after lockdown

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Getting carried away – we flocked to the shops before festivities

Getting carried away – we flocked to the shops before festivities

Getting carried away – we flocked to the shops before festivities

Consumers returned to their old shopping habits with gusto for a pre-Christmas and post lockdown shopping spree.

The December reopening of non-essential retail saw customers flocking back to stores, pushing up spending by 6pc more than in the same month last year.

Many sectors saw record levels of spending at what is traditionally their biggest month of the year anyway, according to the latest consumer spending figures released by money app Revolut.

The data from the company, which says it now has more than 1.2 million customers in Ireland, shows that almost all retail sectors saw December sales increase year-on-year.

This includes jewellers, clothes shops, toy shops, sportswear retailers, electronics stores, bookshops and household appliances sellers.

Spending in jewellers was up 17pc in December compared with the same month last year.

Clothes shops got a 16pc bounce.

But sportswear shops were the real winners with a 53pc sales surge. Not far behind were toy shops, where sales were 45pc higher.

Of the main retail categories, only two performed worse than last year. Both department stores and shoe shops saw spending fall by 12pc compared with December 2019.

Retail experts said the scale of the spending spree will ease some of the concerns of retailers who may have wondered whether shoppers would return following the six-week national lockdown in October and November.

Overall, two-thirds of December's consumer spending was carried out physically, with a third taking place online.

Effective

This marked a significant return to physical spending compared with last November, when 54pc of all spending took place online.

The compilers of the report said Irish businesses have improved their performance when it came to online shopping, suggesting that 'buy Irish online' campaigns such as 'Champion Green' have been effective.

In December, 43pc of all online shopping by Irish customers was with Irish businesses - up from 35pc in December 2019.

This compares favourably to December 2019, when only 35pc of Irish e-commerce spending was with Irish businesses.

December also saw a continued massive spend on all things digital: games, apps, movies, music, and streaming services.

The information is based on the spending activities of Revolut's one million customers here. But it is thought to reflect overall patterns.

Revolut's data has to date been used by the Department of Finance in five official 'Emerging economic trends' publications.

All spending data is adjusted for the growth in Revolut.


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