Whilst most of Europe was hunkering down from Storm Emma, the Irish were boosting the country’s alcohol sales. It’s been revealed that €2.6 million was spent on wine while the Beast from the East gripped the country.

Retailers enjoyed a windfall as consumers flocked to shops to stock up on groceries. The extreme weather saw shoppers spend €9.6 million more on groceries (up 4%) than they did the week before. While an extra €15.2 million (up 6%) was spent than in the same week a year ago, according to Nielsen retail performance data.

The weather warnings and advice to remain indoors was certainly a major driver for people buying more groceries. But the real growth was not in staples such as bread and milk but indulgent categories such as alcohol, confectionery and snacks.

Alcohol was the biggest winner in terms of the increase in euros spent compared to the previous week. Wine sales rose by €2.6 million, followed by beer at €2.4 million. Stout sales shot up 37% and cider increased by 30%.

The biggest beneficiaries were convenience stores who accounted for 56% of the increased spend as people walked to local shops to stock up on supplies. Convenience stores normally account for 36% of grocery sales.

“The beauty of the Beast for grocery retail was that people spent more on almost every single category”, said Matt Clark, Nielsen’s commercial director in Ireland.

“It was as though an unexpected holiday mood prevailed with consumers tempted to treat themselves during the lock-down”, added Mr Clark.

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