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More than €8 of every €10 spent by shoppers on cards is still instore

More than €8 of every €10 spent by shoppers on cards is still instore

An analysis of €9 billion of retail credit and debit card transactions by AIB Bank found that 86 per cent of the purchases were made instore last year. The remaining 14 per cent occurred online, just a single percentage point increase over 2017 and two percentage points over 2016.

The statistic was contained within a presentation on Wednesday morning by AIB’s chief analytics officer, Jonathan Duggan, who was speaking at the annual expo of industry lobby group Retail Excellence, at the Citywest convention centre in Dublin.

About 2,000 delegates are attending the two-day conference and exhibition, which kicked off on Tuesday.

Mr Duggan’s presentation drew on data accrued from hundreds of million of card transactions, stripping out purchases such as flights and other non-retail items to provide a snapshot of activity purely in the retailing industry.

Of the instore transactions that made up the bulk of card sales, 44 per cent of the €7.6 billion was spent on groceries and non-alcoholic beverages, AIB estimated. About 17 per cent was spent on clothing and footwear.

Grocery sales
When it came to online sales, the proportion spent on groceries fell to 8 per cent, while the proportion spent on clothing almost doubled to 33 per cent.

The data was also parsed to ascertain the effects on grocery sales during the major weather events of 2018, including the Beast from the East snowstorm early in the year and the major summer heatwave. Grocery sales on some days of the snowstorm were down up to 85 per cent compared to usual, while they rose as much as 15 per cent on certain heatwave days, underlining the dominance of instore sales in the sector.

Mr Duggan also mapped the data against screenings of the television series, the Great British Bake Off, showing that bakery sales spiked when the programme was aired.

In terms of retail spending by foreign visitors, using cards from foreign banks, AIB estimated that UK visitors accounted for 34 per cent of these sales, with 27 per cent from the US. French, German and Australian visitors each accounted for less than 5 per cent of retail sales to foreign visitors.

Spending by UK visitors peaked in summer and again in December, while US visitor spending was heaviest during summer months.

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