By Alan Healy

The Friday before the June Bank Holiday weekend was the busiest shopping day since lockdown restrictions began to lift according to debit and credit card transactions by AIB customers.

As Ireland enters phase three of the gradual reopening of the economy today, AIB data reveals the spending behaviour of Irish consumers for the first two phases of the government’s reopening plan. The data has been compiled from over one million AIB debit and credit card transactions between May 18 and June 14.

Friday, June 12 was the busiest day for clothes shopping, when stores such as Penneys reopened its doors, and it was the second busiest day overall in terms of in store transactions since the COVID-19 restrictions started to lift. On a local level, Friday 12 was the busiest day for shopping overall in Kerry, Monaghan, Sligo and Waterford as consumers ventured out of their homes and to retail stores.

Friday, May 29 was the busiest day for shopping across all other counties and the busiest day for inshore spending so far since the restrictions started to lift.

The data also shows that the average transaction amount for those shopping for clothes was higher after the lifting of restrictions when compared to a normal shopping period before COVID-19. Consumers spent an average of €75 per transaction in clothing stores, up €15 from an average of €60 before stores closed.

Separately, consumers are now spending more on fast food, takeaway and hardware/garden supplies, with the average transaction, amounts for each higher over phase one and two than prior to the restrictions coming into place. However, overall, the volume of transactions is still down on previous levels.

Rachel Naughton, Head of SME Banking at AIB said: “The busiest day for in-store clothes shopping was the Friday that restrictions were lifted, which shows the level of demand was building up among consumers. We can see positive signs of recovery so far. Hopefully, this trend will continue as other sectors gradually reopen and consumers resume spending again.”

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