Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Trading Days, Online Sales, and Payments

Trading Days, Online Sales, and Payments

Proportion of online sales grew significantly during COVID-19

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Most Active Trading Days

The Trading Day & Product Profile Survey (TDS) is conducted once every five years with the primary purpose of maintaining the accuracy and objectivity of the Retail Sales Index (RSI). It updates the breakdown of sales by day of the week and by business group. These data are published by the CSO for the first time here.

The results from the 2021 survey indicated that in general, there was an upward trend from the beginning of the working week towards the end of the working week and into the weekend. Friday was the most active day for shopping, followed by Saturday, while Sunday was the least active.

Few business groups do not adhere to the trend outlined above. For example, only Bars and Department Stores stand out as having more activity than average on Sundays.

X-axis labelSundaySaturdayFridayThursdayWednesdayTuesdayMonday
All Businesses8.316.818.615.313.81314.2
Motor Trades19.720.41817.316.517.1
Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) 111818.114.812.812.313
Department Stores 14.41917.613.
Food, Beverages & Tobacco8.819.722.11512.21210.2
Pharmaceuticals, Medical & Cosmetic Articles2.214.619.216.515.815.716
Clothing, Footwear & Textiles9.121.916.814.312.311.913.8
Furniture & Lighting6.216.918.117.214.413.314
Hardware, Paints & Glass2.414.317.21716.315.317.5
Electrical Goods7.713.320.216.413.314.114.9
Books, Newspapers & Stationery7.2162016.11513.112.6
Other Retail Sales6.818.917.715.913.413.214.3
Mail order and online sales10.312.416.413.315.113.319.3
Bars 18.125.318.411.38.9711
7.1 Average percentage Total Retail Sales for Business Groups by day, 2021

Proportion of Retail Sales by Day

All business groups benefit from increased activity on Fridays, but some do not sustain this through to Saturday. Fuel and Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Articles are busiest on Fridays, whilst Department Stores, Clothing, Footwear & Textiles, Other Retail Sales and Bars have the highest proportion of their sales on Saturdays.

Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets), Department Stores, and Fuel providers are the most consistent business groups, as they display the lowest variability in sales throughout the week.

In some cases, a business group that is most active on one day becomes the least active on another. This can be observed with Food, Beverages & Tobacco and Bars.

Looking at results from previous surveys and taking Non-Specialised Stores as an example, in the past 20 years shopping on Sunday has become more popular, whilst shopping on Friday has become less popular. The general trend has moved slowly toward a more consistent weekly shopping pattern.

X-axis labelSunday SaturdayFridayThursdayWednesdayTuesdayMonday
7.2 Proportion of turnover generated in Non-Specialised Stores (incl. Supermarkets) by day, 1995 - 2021

Online Retail Sales

The collection of online sales data in the Retail Sales Inquiry began in November 2018. Until 2020 and pre-pandemic, the percentage of online sales in Irish registered enterprises in Retail (All Business excluding Motor Trades and Bars) remained stable. The proportion of sales transacted online ranged from 5% to 6%. The average for 2019 was 5.5%. This tended to peak in November each year to approximately 8% for ‘Black Friday’.

In April 2020, around the time of the imposition of the first pandemic-related restrictions, the proportion of online sales transactions increased significantly to 22.7%. While the overall volume of retail sales fell in April, the closure of non-essential shops and outlets saw many consumers move online to purchase goods. As traditional outlets re-opened in June 2020, the proportion of transactions online fell back to 8.6%. Since then, the average proportion of sales transacted online in 2021 was 9.8%, and 7.0% for 2022.

The proportion of online sales in the Food Sector has remained low with an average of 1.7% in 2019, 2.5% in 2020, 2.8% in 2021 and 3.2% in 2022. In contrast, the proportion in the Clothing, Footwear & Textiles business group increased from an average of 6.1% in 2019, to 24.1% in 2020 and reached a high of 27.6% in 2021. Since COVID-19 restriction were lifted, it has decreased to 10.1% in 2022.

Figure 7.3 Percentage of Turnover generated by Online Sales, December 2018 - December 2022
7.3 Percentage of Turnover generated by Online Sales for selected Retail Business, December 2018 - December 2022

Debit and Credit Card payments

The majority of personal card payments in the Retail Sector were conducted using debit cards, with credit card payments making up fewer than 20% of card payments since April 2015. The amount spent using cards has increased over the years and the spikes in November and December each year are quite evident.

Personal Debit cardPersonal Credit card
Jan 2015775004215976
Feb 2015763103203784
Mar 2015910603243678
Apr 20151003015240107
May 2015999954232925
Jun 20151135295266168
Jul 20151064224246464
Aug 20151094883246180
Sep 20151057199243190
Oct 20151117900251572
Nov 20151267019307547
Dec 20151537652361749
Jan 20161003882211462
Feb 20161100832224051
Mar 20161197350252017
Apr 20161149787242062
May 20161311198271509
Jun 20161247681260408
Jul 20161213262252240
Aug 20161347875282010
Sep 20161248969259275
Oct 20161228458257925
Nov 20161521234349292
Dec 20161773105375891
Jan 20171263462250101
Feb 20171179621224556
Mar 20171320173253721
Apr 20171333180251256
May 20171521806291632
Jun 20171420688270160
Jul 20171466307274976
Aug 20171467464279081
Sep 20171418282262406
Oct 20171571491286504
Nov 20171702939329388
Dec 20172006076381562
Jan 20181498028272976
Feb 20181388828239089
Mar 20181439263245846
Apr 20181642924284565
May 20181645663286447
Jun 20181673974287021
Jul 20181788947303422
Aug 20181738321296163
Sep 20181601997267711
Oct 20181912687326051
Nov 20181974506386921
Dec 20182323640411698
Jan 20191615795272515
Feb 20191547677249955
Mar 20191697982272026
Apr 20191900738311485
May 20191857900303684
Jun 20191750133281965
Jul 20191941150323118
Aug 20191841498299101
Sep 20191781847297778
Oct 20191968168308449
Nov 20192059315347090
Dec 20192668115439039
Jan 20201788079272858
Feb 20201734496254572
Mar 20202108425312138
Apr 20201883921251688
May 20202168977304248
Jun 20202590016372573
Jul 20202476301362447
Aug 20202429483354770
Sep 20202341211347076
Oct 20202518031397958
Nov 20202648109443083
Dec 20203235614481208
Jan 20211959122264219
Feb 20212069392277827
Mar 20212600060365415
Apr 20212478326341416
May 20212736873368126
Jun 20212692219367826
Jul 20212651455349305
Aug 20212697703362726
Sep 20212552603344585
Oct 20212604430351565
Nov 20213088750461039
Dec 20213376998472818
Jan 20222416536311703
Feb 20222342306298064
Mar 20222699385347791
Apr 20222631422337021
May 20222905978366628
Jun 20222789851350306
Jul 20222721804335735
Aug 20222961250376277
Sep 20222738066344217
Oct 20222811315328760
Nov 20223204010448716
Dec 20223598174453279
7.4 Debit and Credit Card payments on Retail, January 2015 - December 2022