Home Directory Deloitte Ireland LLP Irish consumers feel safer going to restaurants, hotels and in-person events – Deloitte report

Irish consumers feel safer going to restaurants, hotels and in-person events – Deloitte report

Consumers in Ireland feel increasingly safer going to restaurants, hotels and attending in-person events, according to Deloitte Ireland’s latest State of the Consumer Tracker. The survey also found that consumers’ health and financial concerns have stabilised, while spending intent has increased across a number of categories.

Deloitte’s State of the Consumer Tracker is a monthly survey which tracks Irish consumers’ attitudes towards personal wellbeing, financial concerns, travel and hospitality, transport and retail. The results are based on a survey of 1,000 consumers across 19 countries respectively (1,000 Irish consumers). The most recent data was gathered between 24 and 30 June.

Commenting on the latest results, Daniel Murray, Partner and Head of Consumer at Deloitte Ireland, said, “With more than half of Ireland’s adult population now fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and restrictions continuing to ease, it is heartening to see that consumers by and large feel ready to return to our restaurants and hotels and to attend in-person events once more. That’s due in no small part to the huge efforts by the retail, hospitality and entertainment industries to put in place the necessary measures to ensure the public can engage with their services in the safest way possible. A widespread increase in spending intent among consumers should give these sectors, in particular, a long-awaited boost.

“Increases in spending intent on medicine and general healthcare point to a more health-conscious consumer as we emerge from the pandemic. Another interesting take-away from the latest survey is that, although physical non-essential retail stores have been reopened for over a month now, there has been no decrease in the number of those who say they prefer to shop online, whether that’s for delivery or click-and-collect. This tells us that digital channels will continue to hold value for customers, even after restrictions are behind us. While we’ve seen that consumer confidence can bounce back quickly after low periods, there will be other, long-term impacts on consumer behaviour that will become clearer as the new, post-pandemic world takes shape.”

Concerns and spending intent

Irish consumers’ level of concern around their own physical wellbeing is consistent with that in the previous wave of research (up by 1%), conducted four weeks prior; their concern around the health of their families, meanwhile, has decreased for the sixth consecutive wave (down 2% on the previous wave).

Consumers’ financial concerns remain stable, with no change in the number of those concerned about making upcoming payments; a 1% rise in those delaying large purchases; and a 2% decrease in those concerned about losing their job.

Consumers continue to feel safer across the board, with notable increases in those feeling safe engaging in person-to-person services (up 3%); attending in-person events (up 5%); going to a restaurant (up 8%); and staying in a hotel (up 8%). Concerns around returning to the workplace continue to lessen, with a decrease of 4% on the previous wave of research.

Consumer confidence in visiting physical stores has increased by 5% on the previous wave of research. Consumers’ intended shopping channel has remained stable, with ‘in-store’ remaining the preference across multiple categories, including clothing and footwear (60%), electronics (60%), restaurants (65%) and groceries (89%). However, despite the widespread reopening of physical stores that occurred shortly before the survey was conducted, there was no decrease recorded in the number of those who said they would prefer to shop online (for delivery or pickup).

The latest survey observed increases in spending intent across multiple categories. There were increases in consumers’ intent to spend on medicines (up 3%), healthcare (up 5%), restaurants / take-away (up 5%) and travel (up 5%). Spending intent on less-discretionary items has remained stable, with small increases recorded in consumers’ intent to spend on household goods (up 2%), groceries (up 1%) and utilities (up 1%), and a 2% decrease in intent to spend on furnishings.

Travel, hospitality & tourism

The survey recorded a 5% increase in spending intent on travel and a 3% increase in confidence in air travel. There were also increases recorded in the number of those planning to travel for leisure in the next three months, by rail (up 3%), car rental (up 3%), on an international flight (up 6%) and to a hotel (up 6%).

Slight decreases were recorded in the number of those planning on keeping their current vehicle longer than they had originally expected (down 2%) and those putting off regular vehicle maintenance (down 1%).