Burgeoning November sales indicate a change in Irish Christmas shopping patterns, Ibec group Retail Ireland said Thursday.
Total retail sales (excluding car purchases and bar tabs) rose by 1.9% compared to November 2015, with sales volumes increasing by 5.1% over the same period.
Shoppers are buying into the pre-Christmas sale frenzy, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday encouraging earlier sales. This is particularly visible in categories such as electronics, furniture, and cosmetics that experience the most intense promotional push.
Retail Ireland said that the numbers emphasise the high concentration of discounting in the market at present, when sales volume growth is two and a half times sales value growth across main categories. This will squeeze retailers' margins at the end of the year, said Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke.
He added, "Later this month we will receive confirmation of the performance of the retail sector over the crucial Christmas period. Despite the shift in spending patterns in recent years, December remains the single most important trading month for the sector and it remains to be seen if the sector can realise pre-Christmas forecasts of a 3% growth in sales when compared to Christmas 2015."
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.