Shoppers increased spending ahead of occasions and events in the second quarter of the year, according to the latest AIB Retail Spend Outlook report.
s restriction-free weddings and large events made a comeback in the second quarter of the year, clothing and beauty sales bounced back significantly, data from AIB shows.
Cosmetics, dresses, shoes and men’s formalwear recorded the largest increases in spending.
Clothes sales in the second quarter were up 13pc on last year. Customers were eager to return to shops following closures during lockdowns, with in-store purchases up 55pc.
However, online clothing sales were down 18pc.
This reflected a general trend noted by AIB, with overall in-store sales up 5pc compared to 2021.
Online sales recorded a decline of 17pc compared to the same period last year when non-essential retail remained shut from December until mid-May.
AIB also pointed to the rise in people returning to the office or embracing hybrid working, with demand for electrical items down 18pc.
Supermarket sales also decreased by 2pc compared to the same quarter last year, while off licenses sales fell by almost a fifth as pubs and restaurants remained open to welcome customers.
“The second quarter this year did not see Covid-related restrictions, which had remained in place into early May last year. The data shows evidence of some behavioral changes, such as consumers returning to in-person shopping after an exclusively online environment for some parts of the sector in the first half of last year,” said AIB’s head of retail sector Alan Makim.
However, he added that some of the declines in spending could be attributed to the “current inflationary environment,” adding that this will likely “the discretionary spending power and attitudes of consumers” for the remainder of the year.
Managing director of Retail Excellence Ireland Duncan Graham said that consumer spending in the autumn looks set to be impacted by rising costs as summer sales come to a close.
“Further price increases are expected into the autumn as manufacturing, shipping, energy and labor costs all continue to increase,” he said.
“More government measures will be needed to assist businesses in managing through a difficult trading period.”