Originally an American construct, Black Friday was ideal for retailers and consumers in the United States to kick off the busy Christmas shopping period.
In Ireland, where Christmas retail campaigns now begin just after Halloween, adopting Black Friday as an aid to sales seemed the obvious thing to do and it is now a fixture in the Irish pre-Christmas retail landscape.
Online Black Friday offers have been available for weeks, but today people will be flocking to shops around the country in pursuit of well-marketed bargains.
Retailers are gearing up to make the most of the Black Friday – the first since Covid-19 pandemic restrictions were removed.
CEO of Dublin Town Richard Guiney is hoping for a bonanza day.
“I think it will busy, footfall in the city centre has been trending in the right direction recently,” he said.
“It will be a good Christmas and Black Friday is part-and-parcel of Christmas retail now.”
At Killarney Outlet Centre, manager Paul Sherry said predicting footfall on Black Friday is not simple.
“It is stronger in the cities but we have lots of offers in our shops, all reduction ready,” he said.
“Black Friday spans more than a day and the impact is spread over a longer period, but certainly there will be shoppers out looking for value and looking for offers.”
Meanwhile, local Irish retailers are encouraging consumers to make it a Green Friday and to buy Irish and sustainable products.
The Champion Green campaign was set up to support and promote small and medium-sized businesses in Ireland as every euro spent with a local business gives back €2.50 to the economy.
Evelyn Moynihan is co-founder of Champion Green.
“We appeal to shoppers to shop local and click local over the coming days,” she said.
“Two third of online shopping goes outside the country so we are asking people to think of and support local online and bricks and mortar businesses.
“A lot of small businesses rely on business in Quarter 4 and if we don’t support them, we will lose them.”
According to recently published research from the CCPC, 40% of us plan on making a Black Friday purchase, with 81% planning to research purchase prices in advance.
The items topping the lists for intended purchase are electronics, clothing and footwear, white goods and beauty and makeup products.
Gráinne Griffin is Director of Communications with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
“Our research shows over one in three consumers are planning on shopping in the Black Friday sales this year,” she said.
“While slightly down on last year, this still represents a very significant percentage of consumers who, on average, intend to spend almost €400.”