Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching and there is a sense that there is increasing pressure for retailers to give discounts at a time when it is traditionally the start of Christmas shopping.

“Although this year there is a general feeling that it will be less manic there will be many instore and online promotions,” says Lynn Drumgoole of Retail Excellence Ireland.

“There is certainly a sense of expectation in shoppers minds that there will be some discounts or offers and this poses a significant challenge for Irish SME’s already under pressure from Brexit led changes in shopping patterns.”

For many Irish retailers Black Friday now signifies the start of the Christmas shopping period but as last year reflected, Irish consumers held out on spend in October and early November to take advantage of any deals that might be available, concentrating their spend over a few days.

“While some retailers are focussing on a discounting strategy, others are choosing to adapt the Black Friday phenomenon and looking at alternatives, including running community events, showcasing their expertise and even highlighting their charity involvement to encourage shoppers across the door,” Ms Drumgoole said.

So, although Black Friday isn’t of cultural significance in Ireland it is something that retailers need to be aware of and choose a strategy for, whether they get involved or not.