Irish shoppers are the biggest spenders, report shows

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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 high-end 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.”

Top 10 spenders per capita

  • Ireland - €764
  • Hong Kong - €761
  • South Korea - €445
  • Switzerland - €420
  • Japan - €339
  • Taiwan - €323
  • Chile - €272
  • Singapore - €270
  • Britain - €250
  • Spain - €222

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