It is estimated that previous records will be broken and more than €100m will be spent here this weekend as Black Friday kicks off the Christmas shopping season writes Joyce Fegan
This is based on previous years’ spend, as well as falling prices and an increase in our disposable income.
“With prices falling by 8.4% in the last 36 months, this Black Friday looks likely to break records both in terms of the level of discounts on offer, and also in terms of the spend by Irish consumers,” said Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke
“With consumer disposable income up 5.4% in the first half of 2017, consumers stand to benefit from even greater spending power over the coming days and into the Christmas period.”
Lorraine Higgins from Retail Excellence pointed to a growth in sales figures and said she expects this to increase again this year.
“Sales were up almost 5% last year versus 2015 and we expect to see this figure improved upon based on the efforts being made by retailers to broaden their discounting on products in their stores. Last year the value of sales were up 2.2% on 2015 and the volume of sales stood at 4.9%,” said Ms Higgins.
Experts have also said more and more of us are shopping online.
“Online retail transactions have grown strongly with total e-commerce spend likely to exceed €16bn before year end,” Mr Burke said.
“This would represent a close to 50% increase since 2015, highlighting the increasing numbers of Irish consumers shopping online.”
Some retailers, such as Debenhams, began discounting goods last Monday, holding specials sales each day until Sunday.
Today, Debenhams is discounting VAT on all fragrances including gift sets and on Sunday they are taking half the price off bridal dresses.
Another high street retailer to start early was Smyths Toys, which started its seven-day sales bonanza last Tuesday.
Other stores opening late include Harvey Norman, with all of its shops open until midnight tonight.
Some of their offers include up to 30% off TVs, up to €400 off laptops and up to 30% off tablets.
Its CEO said Black Friday has now become a “contact sport” meaning that people still shop in store.
“Black Friday is still very much an in-store shopping experience,” said Blaine Callard, chief executive of Harvey Norman Ireland.
“Irish customers know the best deals are to be found by visiting stores. I guess you could say that Black Friday is still well and truly a contact sport.”
Department stores and toy shops are not the only outlets offering Black Friday deals, as Aer Lingus, Argos, and Lidl all have money-off bargains up for grabs.
Aer Lingus’ offers include up to €100 off round-trips to North America.
Meanwhile, Virgin Mobile is offering discounts on unlimited phone plans. And Lidl Ireland’s top deals include a HP laptop for €229 and an LG 43”Full HD LED TV for €329.
Like many other retailers, Lidl Ireland will continue its Black Friday sale into the weekend and several stores, such as Brown Thomas, are offering discounts both in-store and online.
This story first appeared on IrishExaminer.com