Irish firms took 70%-plus of Black Friday trade, Revolut finds

Fintech reports foreign websites accounted for 94% of books and women’s clothes

Irish companies grabbed over 70 per cent of Black Friday business, according to the latest spending survey by fintech Revolut. However, foreign stores dominated online, accounting for two-thirds of spending by Irish consumers.

That marks a weaker performance by Irish websites than at the same time last year when they took almost 40 per cent of holiday spending.

The Revolut report says foreign websites accounted for 94 per cent of purchase of books and women’s ready-to-wear fashion. In the broader category of men and women’s clothing, 88 per cent of spending went abroad as did 62 per cent of money spent on cosmetics.

Irish websites performed more strongly in other areas, accounting for 68 per cent of spending on furniture, home furnishings and toys. Sportswear (65 per cent) and electronics (64 per cent) were other areas where Irish online merchants dominated.

Physical shopping

The monthly Revolut report monitors spending by the fintech’s 1.5 million Irish customers. It noted that more than half of all Black Friday spending took place in-store despite the concern among Irish retailers at the reaction of customers to high ongoing Covid infection numbers.

The weaker online sales this year are likely to renew the drive to encourage Irish consumers to shop locally in the remaining shopping days until Christmas.

"Revolut's data reveals that more of our online shopping is being carried out with overseas websites than before," said Sebastian Hamilton, head of public affairs at Revolut Ireland. "Retailers and policymakers will want to consider this trend for the future."

Buying local

"The choices that Christmas shoppers make now will determine whether or not many local retail and service providers survive into the new year; that is the stark reality," said Marian O'Gorman, Kilkenny Design chairwoman and founder of Champion Green, an industry group that is encouraging consumers to buy Irish.

The last two months of the year deliver close to half of retailers’ full-year sales and up to 70 per cent of annual profits.

Overall, according to the Revolut data, spending in November was 17 per cent higher than in the same month last year.

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle

Dominic Coyle is Deputy Business Editor of The Irish Times