Online shopping

Shoppers are spending more on occasions and events as online shopping slows

Shoppers increased their spending ahead of occasions and events in the second quarter of the year, according to the latest AIB Retail Spend Outlook report.

s unrestricted weddings and big events made a comeback in the second quarter of the year, sales of clothing and beauty products rebounded significantly, according to AIB data.

Cosmetics, dresses, shoes and men’s formal wear saw the largest increases in spending.

Second-quarter apparel sales were up 13% from a year ago. Customers were eager to return to stores after closings during the shutdowns, with in-store purchases up 55%.

However, online clothing sales were down 18%.

This reflects a general trend noted by AIB, with overall in-store sales up 5% from 2021.

Online sales were down 17% from the same period last year, when non-essential retail businesses remained closed from December to mid-May.

AIB also highlighted the increase in people returning to the office or embracing hybrid working, with demand for electrical items down 18%.

Supermarket sales were also down 2% from the same quarter last year, while off-licensing sales fell by almost a fifth as pubs and restaurants remained open to welcome customers.

“The second quarter of this year did not see any Covid-related restrictions, which remained in place until early May last year. The data shows evidence of some behavioral changes, such as consumers returning to in-person shopping after an online-only environment for parts of the industry in the first half of last year,” said Alan Makim, Head of Industry of retail at AIB.

However, he added that some of the drop in spending could be attributed to “the current inflationary environment”, adding that it will likely affect “discretionary purchasing power and consumer attitudes” for the rest of the year. year.

Retail Excellence Ireland chief executive Duncan Graham said consumer spending in the autumn is likely to be hit by rising costs at the end of the summer sales.

“Further price increases are expected in the fall as manufacturing, shipping, energy and labor costs continue to rise,” he said.

“More government action will be needed to help businesses through tough trading times.”