More than half of Irish consumers want to make purchases in-store – Deloitte report

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More than half of Irish consumers want to make purchases in-store – Deloitte report

Consumer confidence remains consistent in Ireland, with more than half (58%) of Irish consumers wanting to make purchases in-store and feeling safe (56%) in doing so, according to Deloitte Ireland’s State of the Consumer Tracker.

This is the latest of the new bi-weekly survey, which tracks Irish consumers’ attitudes towards personal well-being, financial concerns, travel and hospitality, transport and retail.

The results are based on a survey of 1,000 consumers across 18 countries respectively (1,000 Irish consumers). The most recent data was gathered between 9 and 13 June, immediately following Ireland entering the second phase of the lifting of restrictions put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking about the results, Harry Goddard, CEO at Deloitte Ireland said, “The results of the latest State of the Consumer Tracker are encouraging as Irish society and the wider business community begin the difficult road to reopening. With consumer confidence remaining steady, there are some positive takeaways. There is evidence of the re-emergence of the ‘convenience consumer’ with 45% saying they are happy with spending more on convenience. From a retail perspective more than half (58%) of consumers want to make purchases in store, comparing very favourably with the UK which reports 41%. 56% say they now feel safe visiting a store, putting Ireland as joint third in Europe with this measure.”

  • 20% actively seeking travel deals, up from 16% two weeks previously
  • 31% concerned about losing their job, down from 36%
  • 46% remain worried about their physical well-being
  • Consumer confidence remains consistent

Consumer confidence and spending

Consumer confidence – those who report feeling less anxious than last week – has remained consistent, with the majority of Irish consumers feeling less worried than last week.
However, 46% remain worried about their physical well-being, consistent with the previous index, captured during the last week of May.
Whilst worry of job loss is still a significant concern at 31%, this has decreased from 36% two weeks previously. Nearly a quarter of consumers (22%) remain worried about making upcoming payments, compared with 24% previously.

The re-emergence of the ‘convenience consumer’ continues, with 45% now stating they are happy with spending more on convenience, consistent with the previous wave of research. However, consumers remain hesitant to make large purchases, with 41% still planning to delay big spending. This is consistent with the previous wave and aligned to the UK and global averages, both currently at 40%.

58% of Irish consumers now want to make purchases in-store, which continues to grow through each wave – compared with a global average of 51%, and only 41% in the UK. Confidence in visiting physical stores is up by 3% with 56% of consumers reporting that they now feel safe visiting a store. This puts Ireland as joint third in Europe for this measure, suggesting moderate encouragement for the high street.

Daniel Murray, Partner and Head of Consumer at Deloitte Ireland, said “While consumer confidence continues to be steadily restored, the lasting damage of the Covid-19 crisis is still evident. 46% are still worried about their physical well-being – this figure has only decreased by 4 percentage points since the first State of the Consumer Tracker. 31% remain concerned about losing their jobs, which is only a reduction of 5 points; similarly, 41% are still delaying a large purchase, down from 44% in mid-May. Business leaders should be cognisant of the fact that the restored confidence being reported by consumers is fragile and could still be vulnerable to shocks. This is one of the many difficult lessons the pandemic has taught us.”

Hospitality, travel and transport

Irish consumers’ intent to spend on travel in the coming weeks has increased by 12%, and 20% are actively seeking travel deals (up from 16%). There is still some way to go, with only small increases in confidence in air travel (20% feel safe – an increase of 1%) and hotel accommodation (30% – an increase of 5%).

As the health crisis begins to improve, data suggests that consumers are planning to travel domestically, with a 23% increase in intended spend on vehicle fuel/oil. Reliance on personal vehicles is likely to remain with 64% of consumers still planning to limit their use of public transport over the next three months.

58% of Irish consumers are planning to keep their current vehicle longer than originally expected, up 1% since the last wave of research. 15% say they would consider buying a vehicle online, an increase of 3%.

“While Irish consumers may be holding back on purchasing new vehicles and availing of public transport, they are increasingly willing to spend on fuel, which may reflect an increasing interest in travelling domestically,” said Murray. “This presents an opportunity for more travel-related spend, for example on hotel stays, tourist activities, travel amenities and such. This will provide a vital boost to the domestic hospitality industry in lieu of international tourism numbers being restored, and should hopefully kick-start the recovery of an industry which has been particularly damaged by this crisis.”

View the Deloitte Ireland’s State of the Consumer Tracker in full here

Article Published: 30/06/2020