Analysis of debit card transactions by Bank of Ireland has revealed that Irish consumers have been spending more on home fitness products, gaming and streaming services during Covid-19.
The analysis has tracked debit card spend since March 12th and compared it with the average spend prior to restrictions being implemented by the Government in response to Covid-19 (January 1st – March 11th inclusive). It shows that retail spend during that period was buoyed by online activity and a 37% increase in grocery shopping.
The figures shows that while overall debit card spend was down 25%, retail spend has shifted online with significant increases in gaming, clothing, electronics, household appliances, home fitness products and streaming services. Streaming services are up 27% and since the well-timed Irish launch, Disney+ streaming spend has increased by over 500%.
There was an increase of 122% in Playstation spend, while Xbox increased by 86%. Reflecting the unprecedented changes in Irish lives, spend on air travel, passenger travel and accommodation has dropped more than 80%. Restaurant spend is down 69% as the recent trend towards a food delivery model continues.
Discussing the key trends, Director of Products at Bank of Ireland, John O’ Beirne said, "Covid-19 has changed our lives immensely, impacting health, social interaction, travel and also affecting the livelihoods of many. Our data, which tracks debit card spend in March once the schools closed, demonstrates the importance of card services in the current environment, with retail activity driven by online and grocery sales. Shoppers are responding to the new normal, adapting behaviour and spend to their personal circumstances."
He added, "As we continue to travel less, we are looking for more ways to keep ourselves and our families engaged, and spending habits are clearly reflecting that trend. Home exercise and entertainment are being prioritised, while spend on travel and restaurants has dropped significantly in line with the required restrictions."