Dublin Retail Spending Stages Modest Fightback in Q2 2021

Dublin Retail Spending Stages Modest Fightback in Q2 2021

Mastercard Spending Pulse

Dublin retail spending showed signs of a modest recovery in Q2 2021 as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions aided the sector. The latest MasterCard SpendingPulse™, produced on behalf of the four Dublin Local Authorities, shows that total retail expenditure increased by 5.1% QoQ in the quarter.

The main trends were towards bricks-and-mortar outlets with expenditure in the Discretionary and Entertainment categories expanding QoQ by 61% and 21.3% respectively – albeit from historically low bases. Growth in Household Goods expenditure was also exceptionally strong, rising by 20.6% QoQ. This is significant as it underlines the continued confidence of Dublin consumers to spend on ‘big ticket’ items – in spite of increased opportunities to spend elsewhere in the economy. eCommerce, which surged during the depths of the pandemic, fell back by 2.6% QoQ in what is likely a signal of a modest migration back towards bricks-and-mortar retail.

On a YoY basis, growth of 17.1% was recorded in Dublin retail spending, though the same quarter in 2020 was the lowest ebb for the domestic economy. The substantial YoY expansion was mainly driven by Household Goods (+77.6%), Entertainment (+75.2%) and Discretionary (+53.4%) spending.

A striking differential in spending patterns between consumers in Dublin and at the national level emerged in Q2. A swifter recovery was recorded nationally in the quarter (+13.4% QoQ, +31.6% YoY), mainly driven by Discretionary spending growth.

Tourist Spending Shows First Signs of Revival

Spending by overseas tourists in the Dublin economy showed signs of revival in Q2 2021 with an expansion of 25.6% QoQ and 184.4% YoY. This was driven by growth in spending by tourists from each of the main markets. European markets were integral and strong rebounds were recorded in spending by tourists from the UK (+158.2% YoY), France (+123.4%) and Germany (+58.9%) in particular.

“The extreme positive growth rates for overall retail sales were expected as we compare with the Covid-19 related restrictions in 2020.  From a sector perspective we are seeing spending rebalance as spending returns to the discretionary sectors that were largely shut down over the past year.”

Michael McNamara, Global Head of SpendingPulse, MasterCard

Director - Consulting, Grant Thornton

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