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Season's Cheer | Irish consumers pledge to shop local this Christmas

09/12/2020

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  • Nine in ten shoppers (89%) say shopping local will be vital this Christmas to help businesses in their community stay afloat
  • Visa has partnered with Champion Green to encourage consumers to shop locally as part of their Christmas shopping

9th December 2020: As part of its Where You Shop Matters campaign, Visa has partnered with Champion Green and is urging consumers to shop with small businesses in their community, in store or online, this Christmas. The call comes as new research from Visa reveals that 76% of consumers will make a conscious effort to shop local following the relaxing of restrictions to level three last week.

Lockdown woes drive consumers to shop local

Visa’s research found that 86% of consumers are worried about the future of local businesses in their community, with potential local job losses (73%) and an increase in empty shops and premises (70%) topping the nation’s concerns about the future of retail in towns and villages across Ireland.

Nevertheless, Irish consumers are determined to play their part in supporting their local businesses with half (52%) of the public saying they will do most, if not all, of their shopping with local stores this Christmas. Additionally, the Small Firms Association has estimated that if every consumer spent €50 with a small business, it would deliver a €180 million boost to the local economy at a crucial time.

Showing the love for local businesses

Shoppers are keen to repay local businesses for going above and beyond during lockdown, with 76% of the public praising shops for providing support to their community. 79% of people said shops in their community delivered essential food and items to vulnerable customers and 31% were aware of businesses staying in touch with customers who were lonely.

66% of Irish people have noticed that local businesses have adapted their services to offer online shopping as well as investing in safety measures, with 74% saying they had increased peace of mind shopping in local businesses because they had installed plexiglass and staff were wearing face coverings to keep shoppers safe. 44% of consumers say they are also more confident shopping locally because they can pay with contactless by card or smartphone when in-store.

Pride of place

Consumers are keen to support local businesses wherever possible, with 75% of people saying that they feel better about themselves when shopping locally, as they are supporting a store in their community. Some of the reasons why the Irish public prefer to shop local are knowing where their money is going (33%) and because of the personal touch they receive, with 31% saying that staff in their local businesses know them.

Commenting on the research, Philip Konopik, Ireland Country Manager at Visa, said: “While, for many of us, shopping locally is simply a convenient way to purchase goods and services, for local business owners, it’s the lifeline they rely on, especially in these challenging times. The festive season is a crucial trading period, so we’re asking the public to consider doing more of their Christmas shopping with local businesses, either in-store or online, and help to provide a vital boost to our local communities.”

Visa is also continuing its partnership with Champion Green, an initiative backing Irish jobs and enterprise, supported by Kilkenny Design and Visa, as well as business groups Retail Excellence, the Small Firms Association, and Chambers Ireland.

Marian O’Gorman, Champion Green Founder and Kilkenny Design CEO, said: “Hundreds of thousands of consumers have engaged with Champion Green this year, and thanks to our partnership with Visa, the campaign has been very active both in providing support to SMEs and in mobilising consumers. We are encouraging people to choose consciously, when shopping online or instore, and to support local businesses. We are hoping for a Green Christmas, like no other, to give Irish SMEs much-needed hope for the future and to reboot local economies.”

Visa’s support of Champion Green is part of its ongoing Where You Shop Matters campaign – a long-term commitment that recognises the essential role that local businesses play in our communities. Visa has been drawing on its network of industry, technology, and community partners to provide much needed assistance to the small businesses as they rebuild for recovery.

Visa’s Christmas campaign will show the Irish public that Where You Shop Matters by pulling back the curtain to reveal just how much their shopping means to businesses like Fresh & Wild, Jill & Gill, and Bear Market Coffee who feature in the adverts. For more information, go to visa.ie/wysm

Research commissioned by Visa and conducted online by RED C with a nationally representative sample of 1,004 Irish adults aged 18+ between 20th and 25th November 2020.