Ir­ish shop­pers are the big­gest spenders

■ We spend more in depart­ment stores than any other na­tion: Re­port

Irish Examiner - - News - Lynn Kelle­her

Ir­ish con­sumers are the big­gest shopa­holics in the world with more spent in depart­ment stores than any other na­tion.

Fig­ures from Euromon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional re­veal that Ir­ish shop­pers are the big­gest spenders per capita ahead of Hong Kong, South Ko­rea, and Switzer­land.

The re­search re­vealed that we splashed out €764 per head of pop­u­la­tion last year in depart­ment stores such as Dunnes Stores, Deben­hams, and Marks and Spencers.

The in­ter­na­tional mar­ket re­searchers re­vealed that sales rose in 2018, but high street shops are ex­pected to be hit by in­ter­net sales in the com­ing years.

“Depart­ment stores re­tail cur­rent value sales rise by 7% in 2018 to reach €3.7bn.

“Some depart­ment stores con­tinue to strug­gle against com­pe­ti­tion from in­ter­net re­tail­ers, while oth­ers flour­ish”, said an an­a­lyst at Euromon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional.

The re­port pin­pointed Dunnes Stores as the lead­ing depart­ment store in the coun­try.

Re­searchers pre­dicted that sales in depart­ment stores in Ire­land would reach €4.5bn in 2023.

Sales in depart­ment stores here have bucked the in­ter­na­tional trend by shoot­ing up by more than a quar­ter (28%) from €598 per head in 2013 to €767 last year.

While Ir­ish shop­pers have ramped up their spend­ing, sales have seen a small but steady de­cline in the UK over the past five years, says Euromon­i­tor.

Ir­ish peo­ple forked out three times as much as their UK neigh­bours last year.

The re­searchers noted that there will be in­creased pres­sure on depart­ment stores from in­ter­net shop­ping with clo­sures an­tic­i­pated.

“The num­ber of depart­ment stores in Ire­land is ex­pected to de­cline over the fore­cast pe­riod,” said the re­port.

“There is sig­nif­i­cant com­pe­ti­tion be­tween depart­ment stores and in­ter­net re­tail­ers in par­tic­u­lar.”

It noted: “Some depart­ment stores in Ire­land are strug­gling, with a num­ber likely to be­come com­mer­cially un­vi­able in the com­ing years.”

Euromon­i­tor said British re­tail­ers Deben­hams and House of Fraser are two play­ers that could see store clo­sures, par­tic­u­larly post-Brexit if there is a re­turn to a hard bor­der.

The study also noted that the shops on the high street are work­ing hard to keep cus­tomers, with Arnotts giv­ing its beauty hall a makeover in 2018.

It noted that the com­pany brought a num­ber of new beauty coun­ters along with ex­clu­sive brands into the store.

The study into the coun­try’s shop­ping habits said that home­grown shops are ex­pected to see strong brand loy­alty in the com­ing years.

“Dunnes Stores and Brown Thomas (are) both set to see growth due to strong brand loy­alty and the high­end ser­vice that cus­tomers re­ceive in store,” said Euromon­i­tor.

With re­gard to Dunnes Stores’ in­ter­net re­tail chan­nel, the re­port said: “The com­pany cur­rently only sells its home­wares and ap­parel prod­ucts on­line.

“How­ever, it is widely ex­pected that it will in­vest in its gro­cery depart­ment over the com­ing years to keep the pres­sure on gro­cery com­peti­tors Tesco and Su­per­Valu.”

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