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COVID-19 restrictions: Irish consumers’ online spending rise to record high

DUBLIN: New figures from the Central Bank of Ireland indicate that online spending by Irish consumers is on the rise as COVID-19 restrictions limit opportunities for physical shopping. The bank also says e-commerce spending hit a record high in November last year.

According to Central Bank of Ireland, the total e-commerce spending in November 2020 was €2.7 billion. In November 2019, it was 35% lower. The Central Bank noted that the e-commerce spending was up 61%.

Total expenditure amounted to €6.5 billion in November 2020, which means an increase of only 0.3% over the same period last year.

Online spending fell in both the services and social sectors – transport (down 54%), accommodation (down 64%) and restaurants and dining (down 28%).

However, card spending in the retail sector increased by 6% on a monthly basis and 22% on an annual basis. The electrical goods sector (up to 50%) and the grocery sector (up 29%) saw the biggest gains.

At the same time, Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence (largest representative body of the retail industry in Ireland), said the move was another setback for retailers.

His comment followed the reality that some retailers are expected to face more challenges as the government agrees to temporarily ban click and collect services for non-essential retailers to control the spread of COVID-19.

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