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Consumers to splurge on cars, furniture as fears ease

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'Value and price are primary drivers in choice'.

'Value and price are primary drivers in choice'.

'Value and price are primary drivers in choice'.

PENT-UP demand for big ticket items like cars and furniture is set to trigger a rise in spending over the coming months, a new poll suggests.

Half of consumers feel more positive about their financial status compared to this time last year.

The Millward Brown poll for Retail Ireland has revealed that more than a quarter of consumers are willing to splash out on cars and furniture in the next 12 months.

While 40pc of consumers have delayed purchasing big ticket items in the past two years, 27pc are willing to start buying again as confidence returns to the market.

However, the Retail Ireland Shopper Attitude Survey found that savvy shoppers remain very price-conscious when grocery shopping.

Half of grocery shoppers expect to shop around more for their groceries in the next 12 months while 78pc say that they will buy more special-offer goods than before the recession.

Price is by far the biggest driver of behaviour and there is an increased focus on supermarket's "own brand" products, with two thirds of consumers saying that they buy more of these now compared to before.

Retail Ireland Director Stephen Lynam said that while optimism was growing among shoppers, many are cautious.

Almost half of consumers (46pc) remain unlikely to make a big purchase in the coming year while 66pc of consumers "actively seek out cheaper ways of living".

Mr Lynam said: "While the economy may be improving, shopping habits that altered following the economic crash show no sign of coming back."

He called on the Government to ease taxation in the upcoming Budget to encourage increased consumer spending.

"Positive economic trends mean the Government finally has a chance to ease pressure on consumers in the upcoming Budget. Following years of painful tax hikes, income tax along with other consumer taxes should be reduced," said Mr Lynam.

Millward Brown account director Brendan Beere said that while competition remains intense in the sector there are still opportunities for Irish brands to succeed.

"Value and price are primary drivers in choice, but brands can still play a meaningful role by emphasising their quality, reliability and indeed their Irish credentials."

Irish Independent