Only 27% of us were expected to go shopping on Black Friday, but this figure couldn’t have felt further from the truth on the streets of a bustling Cork city yesterday.

iReach Insights which made the prediction, also forecast that while almost half of us (47%) didn’t plan on shopping this weekend, 27% did plan to go bargain hunting, of which 16% intended to go into the shops in person while the remainder went online for their bargains.

The Christmas shopping season had well and truly kicked off by lunchtime yesterday.

With festive music pumping out from every shop along St Patrick’s Street, droves of people descended on the city.

Students from Mount Mercy College were stationed at every corner in bright yellow t-shirts and Santa hats, collecting for the Cork Simon Community.

They had been out since the shops opened and they planned to stay out as long as possible.

Debenhams was heaving with crowds, especially the fragrance department with savvy shoppers snapping up discounted perfumes and colognes.

Black Friday shopping scene at Debenhams, St Patrick’s Street, Cork, in Cork City centre. Picture: Larry Cummins
Black Friday shopping scene at Debenhams, St Patrick’s Street, Cork, in Cork City centre. Picture: Larry Cummins

Impeccably turned out women lined up at the registers in Brown Thomas, taking advantage of the 30% off selected lines of designer handbags.

Shoppers in Argos were in a noticeably good mood, with no signs of any brawls breaking out over discounted televisions. Instead customers were walking out in pairs, carrying sets between them. From midnight on Thursday night, people could reserve items online. They then had 48 hours to pick their orders up.

As two women left the shop laden with bags yesterday afternoon, one turned to the other and asked “Do you think we are done now?” They had been shopping since the shops opened.

And it wasn’t just the city that was busy; EZ Living Interiors stores across Cork were very busy from the start of the day. Customers had been asking about Black Friday deals six weeks ago, according to director Gavin White.

Black Friday shopper Ina Leonaviciene, Blackpool, shopping in Cork City centre. Picture: Larry Cummins
Black Friday shopper Ina Leonaviciene, Blackpool, shopping in Cork City centre. Picture: Larry Cummins

“Everyone was waiting for it.” Mr White said Black Friday sales this year are five times higher than what they are on a normal day.

Laptops and drones were the bestsellers at Harvey Norman, its sale off to a “bullish” start from its kick off yesterday morning, with long queues for the car park. Over 500 prices have been reduced since last week.

At Kearys Motor Group, cars were on offer at cost price yesterday, with the sale continuing today. “It’s up the walls,” according to a sales rep. “It’s good though,” she said, adding it was all-hands on deck for staff today and yesterday.

€100 million is expected to be spent across Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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