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Northern Ireland shoppers are UK's savviest says PwC study

Northern Ireland shoppers are UK’s savviest as Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, according to a PwC study

ALMOST half of people in Northern Ireland will buy something on Black Friday and Cyber Monday– but only if the deal is good enough, according to a survey of 2,000 UK adults by PwC.

Local interest in this annual shopping event outstrips the rest of the UK, beating even London. And shoppers in the north are in the top three big spenders in the UK, with just over one in 10 reporting that they will spend up to £1,000 this weekend.

In sharp contrast to the national picture where on average 44 per cent of the respondents said Brexit uncertainty had led them to adopt a more cautious financial attitude this year, only 25 per cent of those questioned in Northern Ireland said it had made them change their spending plans.

The name Black Friday is thought to have been coined in respect of the impact this specific day's shopping can have on the retailers' - literally pushing their bank balances ‘into the black'.

It was first used in the early 2000s, but the practice of taking to the shops the day after Thanksgiving began in 1952. Cyber Monday is a more recent phenomenon, created by marketers in 2005 to encourage people returning to work after the holiday weekend to continue shopping from their computers at work.

Some 44 per cent of those questioned in Northern Ireland will head to the till for the right price, compared to 23 per cent of people in Scotland, and 27 per cent in Wales. However 37 per cent have no interest, similar to the national picture (38 per cent) and two per cent actively avoid the sales.

Northern Ireland is also least likely to benefit from impulse purchases if last year is anything to go by, where it accounted for 25 per cent of things bought compared with 48 per cent in Wales and 43 per cent in London.

PwC Northern Ireland Partner Martin Cowie said: “The drastic slump in footfall felt by Northern Ireland's retailers this year, particularly in Belfast, should be seen as a call to action.

"As this surveys shows, local shoppers are not anxious about spending money. Therefore, bricks and mortar retailers need to spend some time now to identify just what makes them different from others, and how to persuade shoppers to come in rather than go online.

“There's a fairly even split in Northern Ireland between people choosing to shop during this particular weekend via their laptops, their phones and in-store. Retailers would be wise to take advantage of this, particularly as the most prolific spenders will be in the 18 to 34 age group.”

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