Black Friday crosses the Atlantic as Irish retailers cash in

Dundrum Town Centre says number of shoppers is up to 30% greater than last year

Dundrum Town Centre: trade was up on Black Friday. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Dundrum Town Centre: trade was up on Black Friday. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the US that traditionally heralds the start of seasonal shopping mania there, has become a phenomenon in Ireland, with some retailers here reporting sales spikes of up to 100 per cent.

Dundrum Town Centre, which ran a major Black Friday-themed marketing campaign this year, said the number of shoppers in its stores was up between 20 and 30 per cent on a normal Friday.

Arnotts in Dublin’s Henry Street said it was its busiest Friday of the year, reporting a boost in shoppers of 40 per cent over the same day last year. It also said sales doubled in electrical and menswear, and in its Gap store.

Harvey Norman, which heavily promoted the day in radio advertisements and offered sizeable discounts across its store network, said it was “overwhelmed” and that footfall was up 200 per cent on the same day last year.

Cyber Monday

Blaine Callard

Don Nugent, the director of Dundrum, said it was the first time the centre had marketed Black Friday, with many of its stores offering discounts of 20 per cent to 40 per cent.

“It is a good way for retailers to brand their pre-Christmas sales, and it works,” he said. “We had to open our overflow car park an hour earlier.”

Maria McGovern, director of the Kildare Village luxury outlets centre, reported a “strong uplift” on Friday trading, with a double-digit increase in sales.

Black Friday also boosted some Irish retailers via increased online sales from US customers. Carrolls Irish Gifts said 60 per cent of its web sales normally come from the US. Activity on its website spiked on Friday afternoon.

“Our conversion rate – the number of web visitors who actually buy something – was up about 100 per cent,” said Brian Howe, Carrolls e-commerce manager.

For another retailer, however, it was a Black Friday for altogether different reasons.

Laser, the cult DVD rental chain, closed the doors on its final outlet in Dublin after more than 25 years.

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