Dreaming of an expensive Christmas

Sabrine Donohoe

Households this year will spend €2,690 this Christmas, on average, putting an extra strain on Christmas shopping for students

Irish households will spend €2,690 this Christmas, according to a report by Retail Ireland’s Christmas Retail Monitor.

The average cost of spending will rise by €866 than any other calendar month, with a €150 million increase in total sales. Sales over Christmas are to increase by 3 percent in 2018, from €4.5 billion to €4.65 billion.

The report found that Irish shoppers tend to purchase on overseas websites, particularly with the recent Black Friday sales. Consumer trends now tend towards brand-names, particularly in men’s clothes.

“Rising disposable incomes, record numbers at work, and falling prices have all combined to give consumers greater spending power than ever before,” Retail Ireland’s Director Thomas Burke said in a press release.

But on the DCU campus, students say they struggle to set aside money for Christmas presents, although they work part-time. Even so, some still purchase luxury items. Some prefer online shopping as a time-saving method and to get better deals.

History and Geography student Shane Walker said “[I spend] less than €100… it’s usually cheaper to purchase online”. “[I purchase luxury goods] but it wouldn’t be clothes as much as techy stuff.”

Law and Media student Dáire Bartley said, “I probably spend about €150 to €200… I usually go in-store because I don’t really have an idea of what I’m getting so I just look around.”

Media and English student Ciara Byrne said “[I usually spend] into the hundreds… being in a relationship there’s pressure to get a good present for them and now that I’m a working student there’s also pressure to buy presents for family.”

“You have to pay for a bus, some students have to pay for rent and it’s hard to save when you can only work part-time.”

“I usually buy online just because being a working student I don’t usually have time to go in-store.”

Journalism student Emily Clarke said “I spend about €50 or €60 on presents [in the city centre] … I do Secret Santa now with my friends, just to bring down the budget”.

“Last year I didn’t have a job and I found it really hard to have enough money for Christmas – this year I have a job and I still find it hard.”

Journalism student Roisin McGuire said “I usually save for most of the year for Christmas… I only do 17 hours a week and I need to plan for driving lessons and insurance.”

Discounts are happening further away from the festive period, particularly on alcohol and confectionery.

Online sales growth is exceeding traditional outlets by 10 times, but a 40 percent increase in online book sales over Christmas is expected to return to the high-street after December.

By Sabrine Donohoe

Image credit: Mikey Walsh