Retail Ireland: Ibec predicts best Christmas for retail in years
Retail Ireland has singled out "Black Friday" as the start of the Christmas sales season, with bumper results for retailers to come in the next few weeks.
27 November 2015 | 0
The term “Black Friday” really took off in Ireland this year, with dozens of shops and online retailers offering knockdown prices on their goods. In recent years, the sales event has been used to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season, and Retail Ireland has taken the opportunity to predict an increase of 3.5% on overall Christmas sales, the highest in seven years.
According to Visa Europe, the Black Friday weekend is set to be the biggest weekend for online shopping in Ireland ever recorded. The company predicts that up to €98m will be spent on Visa cards between 27th – 30th November, with in-store and online shopping combined totalling €128m
“This weekend marks the start of the real Christmas shopping period,” says Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke, “and Black Friday is an increasingly important promtional window for retailers. Some businesses will have seen an increase in sales from the event – up to 30% in some cases – following reductions of up to 25% in some outlets.
“However, the spending spree does bring forward purchasing decisions by consumers,” he added, “which could result in potentially less activity closer to Christmas.”
Black Friday is also coupled with the online-focused Cyber Monday on November 30th, which Burke says poses both a threat and an opportunity for Irish retailers. “They will have been planning it for quite some time,” he says, “with contingencies in place to meet the extra consumer demand. Consumers are increasingly focused on pre-Christmas value that these days offer, and the retailers have to act to meet that demand.”