Green Friday

Green is the new Black (Friday)

A national campaign hopes to encourage consumers to buy Irish this Black Friday.

The “Green Friday” campaign aims to encourage people to shop locally and support Irish brands and businesses this Christmas shopping period. Beginning in America, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events have been enthusiastically embraced by consumers here and last year saw more than €50m spent over the course of the weekend.

But there has been growing concern in recent years that the majority of this spending is going to overseas retailers online. The Green Friday campaign is asking people to support jobs and their local economies and contribute to Ireland’s creative community, manufacturers and service providers by buying Irish this November 25th.

The new initiative is led by Marian O’Gorman, CEO of Kilkenny retail group and supported trade associations including the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Retail Excellence, Chambers Ireland, the Small Firms Association and Irish brands and retail businesses countrywide.

Up to €4.65 billion will be spent by Irish consumers during the Christmas period, based on research by Retail Ireland. Brands and businesses are being encouraged to get involved and market their products under the Green Friday banner this Christmas to highlighting the value of shopping locally.

“With Brexit uncertainty and trade tariffs lingering, now, more than ever, we need to reawaken people to the significance of buying Irish and shopping local” says Marian O’Gorman “Irish brands and designers are second to none, with many that are leaders on a world stage. We, as consumers, need to appreciate the fundamental fact that by keeping money in circulation in our own communities, we are protecting jobs and public services.”

SFA Director Sven Spollen-Behrens said that Christmas can add a major economic impetus when shoppers back small businesses and help maintain jobs.

“If each adult spent just €20 extra in small local businesses this Christmas, this would amount to an injection of over €73m for small firms and would have a huge, positive impact on local jobs and the vibrancy of town and village centres.”

black friday

Black Friday boosts retail sales by 2.6% in November

The volume of retail sales increased by 2.6% in November on a monthly basis, with retail sales up 6.8% on an annual basis, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistics Office. The figures, which were stronger than expected, come on the back of strong Black Friday sales during the month. Retailers reported their strongest ever ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ sales on the 24th and 27th of the month.

Electrical goods performed particularly strong in the period with sales seeing a 14.5% increase from the previous month. Department stores sales increased by 6.7% while “other” retail sales – which include the likes of carpets, toys, flowers, plants, pets animals and pet food – increased by 5.7%.

There is some debate amongst analysts as to whether the U.S inspired Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotional events actually increase sales and encourage shoppers to make additional purchases or just act as an incentive for shoppers to do their Christmas shopping early. “The question remains whether spending has merely been brought forward from the traditional December season to November,” Davy analyst David McNamara said, noting industry surveys suggested that December spending was disappointing for Irish retailers.According to Retail Ireland, early indications show that December sales will be on par with 2016. However, he acknowledged that Irish consumer spending “will be higher once again in Q4 as a recovering labour market and wage growth drive demand”.

Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said that while retail sales remain erratic on a monthly basis and are still swinging back and forth, the underlying trend is positive. “While most attention has been on new car sales in the past couple of years, which were lower in 2017 than 2016, personal spending in other areas has picked up over the same period and is becoming more broad-based,” the economist noted.