Is the recession over? What does it mean for Irish Shoppers?

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Recession. Ireland is weary of the word, but after a long spell of economic doom and gloom, new figures show that we’ve shaken off the worst of it, which is good news for Irish consumers. Complete Savings takes a look at the new numbers and what effects we could expect.

new signs of life in the economy

A glance at the figures for the second quarter show a modest uptick, mostly due to an increase in the export of services and a small but crucial rise in personal consumption at 0.7%. Businesses concerned with software, communication, transport, and distribution grew by 1.4%, and the sector hardest hit by the collapse, building and construction, jumped by 4.2%.
As we stare down the barrel of another budget, this is cause for hope. The numbers may look minuscule, but this growth is still higher than the overall European average: something to celebrate.

consumer confidence on the rise

Irish consumers are starting to breathe a little easier these days, as the stranglehold of unemployment eases. To date, 34,000 new jobs have been created, an increase of 1.8% growth in employment overall. It’s a happy feedback loop. More jobs mean more spending, which in turn creates more jobs. As the holiday season slowly approaches, we can expect this cycle to speed up. Even in the depths of recession, Irish customers have always been generous at Christmas-time. In 2012, the Irish were the biggest holiday spenders in Europe, splashing out almost twice the average European Christmas budget. Added to the overall growing stability in the Eurozone, these factors are contributing to general optimism about personal spending.

we’re shopping smarter

Consumers and retailers alike have learned from the recession. Buying patterns have changed drastically over the last few years. More and more shoppers are dividing their spend between a number of retailers, and online shopping continues to gain pace. Shopping local has become a priority for many, and consumers are buying smaller amounts more often. Own-brand products are in high demand while customers are insisting on value for money. Retailers have been responsive, expanding their private-label ranges and constantly striving to compete for their share of the slim retail sector. If we can carry these lessons into a new period of economic growth, we can expect to get more for our money, even as our incomes rise.

While no one would say we’re out of the woods yet, it’s encouraging to feel a shift towards recovery. Complete Savings will be watching closely, ready to report on how these changes will affect the everyday shopper.

Sources:

Irish Times
ShelfLife.ie
FinFacts.ie

Grocery Shopping: Online or Offline?

When Complete Savings looked into online grocery shopping in Ireland, we found that most Irish people are still shopping at their local supermarket instead of logging on to get their groceries. Unlike the UK, where one in five consumers regularly shops for food online, last year only 4% of Irish customers bought groceries over the internet. It might be time for that to change. Most major Irish food retailers have now launched extensive online shopping options, and many even offer free delivery with a reasonable minimum spend. If you live out in the country, you needn’t be left out. With the growing availability of click-and-collect services, you can order at home and swing by to collect your shopping at your convenience. You still beat the crowds and queues while taking advantage of the significant savings online grocery shopping has to offer.

instant price comparison

With the cost of food soaring at 10 times the rate of inflation, finding the best deals on your groceries is becoming more important than ever. Finding the time to go from shop to shop for the lowest prices on your favourite products, however, is increasingly difficult. By shopping online, you can compare pricing between supermarkets in seconds. Buy what’s cheapest from each vendor, and you’ll see instant savings. Buying in bulk is another way to get the most for your money. Cooperative websites such as BuyersClub.ie are offering large discounts on multipacks of many household basics.

limit impulse buys

The old saying “Never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry” is true, but it’s easier said than done when you’re trying to fit in a trip to the shop on the way home from a long day at work. Suddenly, expensive convenience foods and not-so-healthy snacks begin to look especially enticing while your stomach is grumbling. It’s difficult to summon the will to resist. With online food shopping, you can get home, eat dinner, and decide on your week’s purchases with a full belly and a cool head.
It’s a clear win for both your wallet and your waistline.

alternative vendors

In the early days of online grocery shopping, you couldn’t expect more than the basics. Tinned food, dry cereal, bread and other pantry staples were a great start, but nowadays we’re all foodies, and we want more from our weekly shop. Happily, Irish retailers have responded to our newfound interest in organic produce, specialty condiments, and gourmet ingredients. Several specialty websites have sprung up, devoted to delivering the highest-quality artisan products right to your door. GoodFoodIreland.ie and OrganicSupermarket.ie are online-only supermarkets which make a point of sourcing fine foods from around the world for the convenience of Irish shoppers. Eating local is becoming an important concern for many these days, but you don’t have to spend your Saturday morning at the market to take part. Organic fruit and veg boxes from local farmers are growing in popularity, and a quick online search should find you several suppliers prepared to deliver a crate of the countryside’s freshest treasures once a week.

Online food shopping in Ireland is ready to take off. If you’ve bought groceries online from an Irish retailer, Complete Savings would love to hear about your experience.

Irish airlines notice staycation trend

A recent study by Webloyalty and Conlumino on holiday habits showed that people in the UK are more likely to plan a staycation; a holiday in the UK. According to Aer Lingus, this same trend was visible in Ireland during summer.

Irish airline Aer Lingus revised its outlook and forecast for the year after the good weather this summer saw potential holidaymakers in Ireland deciding to plan a staycation, thus not booking a flight.

The company claimed that its short-haul bookings eroded in July due to the good weather conditions in Ireland.

There might be good news ahead for the Irish consumers, as the airline will probably deploy a more aggressive pricing strategy to respond to the market conditions.
If it will mean that the prices will go drastically down is yet unsure, as the company is examining ways to ‘accelerate existing plans to achieve further cost efficiencies’ to preserve and protect its future profitability and competitiveness, which could also result in employee exits.

completesave.ie on my statement

CompleteSave.IE

If COMPLETESAVE.IE appears on your bank statement, this is in reference to the membership fee you pay as a member of Complete Savings.

What is Complete Savings?

Complete Savings is an online savings programme, ideal for people who shop online regularly. When you join you are given the chance to claim an initial cashback reward, and after that a €10 cashback bonus each month. Membership is free for the first 30 days.

Complete Savings membership

As a member, not only can you claim an initial cashback reward and a €10 monthly bonus, but you can also buy popular giftcards at a 20% discount, and earn 10% cashback on purchases at a large number of online stores by shopping through the all-new Complete Savings website. Currently, the stores include The Apple Store, iTunes, Expedia and Tesco Direct. Cashback is recorded in your membership account, and you are sent a cheque each month when the amount totals €5 or more.

COMPLETESAVE.IE

Because banks do not give companies a large amount of character space on bank statements, the text completesave.co.uk will appear on your bank statement in reference to your membership fee for your Complete Savings membership.
The membership site is www.completesavings.ie

Contact Complete Savings

It’s easy to contact Complete Savings.
You can call the customer service team for free on 1800 806 167 (Ireland) or 0800 389 6960 (UK).

Tesco to compete with Apple and Amazon on tablet market

Tesco announced to launch its own tablet device to compete with (future) rivals Apple, Samsung and Amazon.

The tablet should go on sale around the Christmas period, hoping to boost the revenue of the chain in Q4.

Tesco will probably pre-load its device with books, music and films, together with its recently released Blinkbox multimedia service.

The move to release a tablet linked to its own digital media service has been praised by various experts.

Fiona Keenan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel underlined the importance of having a digital media service as “tablet owners are incredibly loyal to the download store they are first linked to“.

Sources informed the Sunday Times that the tablet will match Amazon’s Kindle Fire in terms of quality, although there are no details yet regarding the retail price of the device.

Source: RetailGazette.co.uk