Overwhelming support to shop local as Christmas approaches

ireland
Overwhelming Support To Shop Local As Christmas Approaches
Irish shoppers are looking closer to home for their presents this year.
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By Cate McCurry, PA

Consumers are overwhelmingly backing local traders as they battle to survive the second lockdown, a new survey reveals.

Some 98 per cent of  people are making a conscious effort to support homegrown businesses more during the pandemic.

With firms hoping the Christmas spending spree will keep them afloat after a troubling year for retail, the shop local show of solidarity looks set to continue.

The festive shopping survey, carried out by Hastings Hotels, shows 71 per cent of the public are choosing to shop locally to keep local firms in business, with another 19 per cent doing so to protect jobs.

A woman wearing a face mask carries several shopping bags in Dublin’s city centre (PA)

Around 65 per cent of people have started the annual shopping spree, while almost a third (32 per cent) admit to leaving it until the last minute.

Almost double the amount of men (54 per cent) than women (28 per cent) are choosing to leave their Christmas shopping until the eleventh hour.

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With just over seven weeks to go before Christmas, most of those who have purchased some presents started in October (57 per cent), with some 5 per cent starting their shopping in July or earlier.

Gift cards are a popular choice to give and to receive, and of the 16,943 shoppers who were asked, most prefer to receive hotel vouchers, closely followed by restaurant and spa vouchers.

 

Around 42 per cent have had a gift card expire, causing annoyance for 75 per cent but surprisingly only putting off 19 per cent from purchasing one again.

A majority of respondents (57 per cent) say they will spend around the same amount on Christmas as last year, with most consumers preferring a mixture of in-store and online to pick up their perfect gifts.

However, 37 per cent said they will spend less.

With Ireland due to come through six weeks of Level 5 lockdown on December 1st, people say they will miss family and friends most if restrictions continue (89 per cent), followed by socialising and soaking up the festive atmosphere, the survey shows.

 

Julie Hastings, marketing director of Hastings Hotels, said: “It’s so heartening to see almost ubiquitous support for shopping local and supporting the many Irish businesses that have been through some very tough times these past eight months.

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“While many places have had to temporarily shut shop, most have been quick to adapt to serve customers with click and collect and online shopping options.

“Our own Hastings gift cards are proving very popular this year, which is really encouraging.

“We are also seeing a rising trend in multi-generational getaways, with families booking our hotels to spend quality time together after a stressful year.”

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