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Friday, July 19, 2024

Retail Card Spend Surges, Boosting Sector Confidence


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The recent surge in retail card spend has sparked renewed optimism within the sector, indicating potential shifts in consumer behavior and economic confidence.

As the data unveils promising growth rates across various retail segments, particularly in department stores and grocery spending, industry analysts are closely monitoring these trends for deeper insights into evolving market dynamics.

The notable increase in card transactions suggests a shift towards digital payment preferences, hinting at broader implications for future consumer habits and retail strategies.

Amidst this backdrop of growth and confidence, intriguing questions arise regarding the sustainability and implications of this upward trajectory for the retail sector.

Retail Card Spend Growth Highlights

In 2023, retail card spend in Ireland showcased a notable increase of 3.3% compared to the previous year, reflecting a positive trend in consumer spending habits. The final quarter of 2023 also saw a positive card spend growth of 1% compared to the same period in 2022, accompanied by a 2.3% increase in the number of card transactions.

In-store shopping spending experienced a 0.7% uptick versus the same period in 2022, while total online sales saw a 1.8% increase. These figures indicate a shift towards more online shopping but also a continued preference for in-store purchases. The increase in retail card spend signals a promising outlook for the retail sector and consumer confidence in Ireland.

Department Stores Performance Insights

During a period marked by disturbances preceding Black Friday, department stores in Ireland exhibited a notable 14% increase in card spend, positioning them as top growth performers in the retail sector.

Despite challenges, the sector experienced a significant surge in consumer interest, with an overall card spend increase of 9.6% for the quarter. Consumers actively sought the traditional Christmas shopping experience offered by department stores, contributing to the observed growth.

This trend underscores the resilience and appeal of department stores in the face of market disruptions. The growth in department store spend not only reflects consumer preferences but also indicates a positive outlook for the retail sector as a whole, highlighting the importance of strategic positioning and adapting to evolving consumer demands.

Grocery Spending Trends Analysis

Amidst shifting consumer preferences and economic dynamics, an insightful analysis of grocery spending trends reveals notable patterns and implications for the retail landscape.

In the last quarter, grocery spending increased by 3.6%, with in-store and online channels experiencing rises of 3.4% and 6.4%, respectively. The number of card transactions for groceries surged by 5.3% during the same period, indicating robust consumer demand leading up to Christmas.

Notably, grocery expenditure in 2023 exceeded levels observed during the festive season in 2022, underlining sustained growth in this sector. The data suggests that consumers prioritize essentials such as groceries, driving consistent spending trends even amidst broader economic fluctuations and evolving consumer behaviors.

Off-Licence and Homeware Sales Overview

The performance of off-licence and homeware sales in the recent quarter exhibited contrasting trends in consumer behavior and purchasing patterns. Off-licence sales increased by 1.4%, likely boosted by a strong Christmas trading period.

In contrast, the homeware and hardware sector experienced a 4.2% decrease in value sales. In-store sales for homeware and hardware saw a significant decline of 6.8%, while online sales only slightly increased by 0.3%.

These divergent trends suggest a shift in consumer preferences towards off-licence purchases during the period, potentially driven by seasonal factors. The challenges faced by the homeware and hardware sector may require strategic adjustments to adapt to evolving market dynamics.


In conclusion, the recent growth trends in retail card spend in Ireland, particularly in department stores and grocery spending, indicate a positive outlook for the sector.

Despite challenges such as increased business costs, the overall increase in card transactions and consumer confidence signal continued growth and demand in the retail industry.

Retailers can anticipate sustained momentum in the coming months, driven by consumer spending and economic optimism.

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Owen is an excited writer with over 10 years of experience in the newspaper industry. Born and raised in Ireland, Owen developed a passion for writing and journalism at a young age. He pursued this passion by studying journalism in college and quickly landed a job as a reporter at a local newspaper. Over the years, Owen worked his way up the ranks in the newspaper industry, eventually becoming one of the top editors in the company.

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