Spend using debit and credit cards in Irish supermarkets fell by 8% in April, compared to the previous month, the latest Bank of Ireland Spending Pulse report has found.
According to the bank, the fall is likely linked to the challenges facing shoppers with regard to inflation.
"Time will tell if the latest Spending Pulse serves to indicate the beginning of a wider trend, or proves to be a temporary dip before spending levels soar upwards during the summer months," commented Jilly Clarkin, head of customer journeys and SME markets at Bank of Ireland.
Spend Down In Retail Channels
Supermarkets weren't the only channel seeing a decrease in spend, month-on-month, with spend using debit and credit cards 44% lower in florists, 15% lower in beauty spas and 10% lower in book shops.
At the same time, spend in cinemas rose by 47%, shoe shops saw a 15% rise in spend, hotels were 11% up, and rail travel was 6% higher.
According to Clarkin, the fact that spend was up in other European markets indicates that many consumers sought to skip the poor Irish weather in April.
In Search Of Sun
"Sharp rises in April spending in sunnier spots like Greece (+99%), Portugal (+72%) and Spain (+25%) would suggest that many people used the Easter break to get away from it all for a week or two," she said.
"This was a spending trend that we also recorded in April 2022, so perhaps it wasn’t all that surprising that spending hikes experienced during the opening months of 2023 did not continue this April.”
Overall, spend using debit and credit cards fell by 7%, month-on-month, with overall retail spending falling by 7% and social spending falling by 5%.
Teenagers (aged 13-17) were the only age cohort to record a spending spike during the month. The data covers spend using Bank of Ireland debit and credit cards only.
Read More: Dunnes Stores Maintains Position As Ireland's Leading Supermarket Chain: Kantar
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