• Cyril McAree

Irish Survey Shows Enormous Support To Shop Local This Christmas

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

A huge 98% of us are making a conscious effort to support homegrown businesses more during the pandemic.

And as firms hope the Christmas spending spree will keep them afloat after a horrendous year for retail, the ‘shop local’ show of solidarity looks set to continue.

The festive shopping survey, carried out byHastings Hotels, shows 71% of us are choosing to shop locally to keep local firms in business, with another 19% doing so to protect jobs.

And if you haven’t started buying gifts, you’re in the minority as 65% of us have begun the annual shopping spree.

Don’t panic though as almost a third (32%) admit to leaving it until the last minute. In fact, almost double the amount of men (54%) than women (28%) are choosing to leave their Christmas shopping until the eleventh hour.

With just over seven weeks to go before the big day, most of those who have crossed some presents off their list started last month (57%), with an extremely well prepared 5% kicking off 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.

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

A majority of respondents (57%) 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% said they will spend less.

With Ireland due to come through six weeks of Level 5 lockdown on December 1, we will miss family and friends most if restrictions continue (89%), followed by socialising and soaking up the festive atmosphere.

“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 8 months,” said Julie Hastings, Marketing Director of Hastings Hotels.

“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.”

For the month of November, Hastings Hotels is giving an extra £10 for every £100 spent on a Hastings Hotels gift card. The card has no expiry date and is redeemable on any experience across all seven hotels.

To take advantage of this offer, go to www.hastingshotels.com or call 0044- 289- 0471066.

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