Black Friday set to kick-start Christmas shopping

Thursday, 26 November 2015
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today said retailers are preparing for the busiest Black Friday weekend since the emergence of the retail phenomenon in recent years. The initiative, which originated in the United States to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season after Thanksgiving, has become an increasingly important part of the Christmas season for Irish retailers in the last couple of years. Retail Ireland expects overall sales this Christmas to increase by 3.5% on last year, the highest in seven years.

Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: "This weekend marks the start of the real Christmas shopping period and Black Friday is an increasingly important promotional window for retailers. Some businesses will see an increase in sales this weekend of 30% with price reductions of over 25% available in some outlets. The early spending spree does however bring forward purchasing decisions by consumers, resulting in potentially less activity closer to Christmas."

Retailers are also preparing their online platforms and distribution networks for the pre-Christmas surge, which will come with the much feted Cyber Monday which falls this coming Monday 30 November.

"The emergence of both Black Friday and Cyber Monday pose both a threat and an opportunity for Irish retailers. Retailers will have been planning this period for a number of months and have been putting contingencies in place to meet the extra consumer demand over this weekend. Consumers are increasingly focused on pre-Christmas value and weekends such as this mean retailers have to react to meet that consumer demand," said Mr Burke.