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Irish people spent a LOT of money over the Christmas period

We bought a lot of jewellery.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE LAST THREE months of 2014 saw the largest rise in spending in Ireland’s shops in seven and a half years.

Figures released today by Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) show the Christmas period saw huge increases in spending on jewellery, furniture and footwear.

Overall, the figures show that:

  • The final three months of 2014 saw like-for-like gains of 4.22%, the largest annualised quarterly increase since 2007
  • Jewellery was the star performer recording like-for-like quarterly gains of 14.91%
  • The pharmacy sector remains under significant pressure. The sector recouped some of the losses of 2014 thanks to a robust December, but REI is warning that closures are likely in 2015
  • The fashion sector performed well, with menswear being the most productive sector recording like for like gains of 8.81%
  • Footwear increased by 4.68% following on a poor end to Quarter 3, largely due to the unseasonal good weather
  • The Home Renovation Scheme continues to reap reward with furniture & flooring recording quarterly gains of 8.20%
  • The photo and camera market continues to suffer and shrunk by a further 35.00% in Quarter 4 2014

Seán Murphy, the deputy CEO of Retail Excellence Ireland, said that Asian tourists played a large part in the good figures.

“Most sectors recorded strong gains with the jewellery sector being the outstanding performer, recording a 14.91% increase against quarter four [in] 2013.

“Key drivers of spending increases in [the jewellery] category have been both Asian tourists coming to Ireland in ever increasing numbers to buy competitively priced luxury goods as well as growth in demand for fashion brands such as Michael Kors, Alex and Ani, and Pandora.

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