In-store spending was up 18% on Monday as lockdown lifted

Spending in the travel and accommodation sectors continued recent weekly increases

In-store spending rose sharply on Monday, increasing by 18 per cent, week-on-week, on the first day non-essential retail reopened, figures from the Central Bank show.

The data, which captures expenditure of credit and debit cards issued to Irish residents and consists of total daily debit and credit card spending and ATM withdrawals, shows spending in shops hit €14.5 million, up 18 per cent compared to the previous Monday.

Over the previous week to May 16th, total weekly spending increased by €62 million, or 4 per cent week-on-week, with the first phase of restriction easing for retail and personal services.

For the first time since late December, in-store spending now accounts for a larger proportion of spending than online spending, and increased by 11 per cent compared to the previous week.


Spending in the travel and accommodation sectors continued their recent weekly increases, recording weekly growth rates of 20 and 8 per cent, respectively.

Spending in the “other retail” sector increased by €9.4 million, or 16 per cent week-on-week.

Data from Dublin Town, which includes retailers and other businesses, suggested footfall levels in the city on Monday were a little over half of a similar day before the pandemic.

The group measures footfall using a sophisticated camera system at various strategic points around the city centre. It recorded footfall of 208,000 on Monday, or 54 per cent of the same day in 2019 – the last pre-pandemic “normal” date for comparison purposes.

Dublin Town's chief executive, Richard Guiney, estimates that a footfall of 208,000 is equivalent to about 140,000 different individuals, as the group estimates that people are picked up by its cameras an average of 1.5 times each.

“We have picked this up over time by measuring footfall to the number of people carried by public transport, and then adding the numbers who come in by car, on bike, or who walk,” he said.

Although well down on pre-pandemic levels, Monday’s footfall levels were still above those recorded on June 8th last year, when non-essential retail reopened after the first lockdown, Dublin Town said.

Footfall on that occasion was 190,000, suggesting it was up 10 per cent this week.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter