Black Friday bargain hunters will be out early in Northern Ireland
Research shows we save most money for bonanza shopping day
Northern Ireland people are the biggest bargain hunters in the UK, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
We're the earliest risers, we form the longest queues, we put aside the most money for bargains and, we'll make next week's Black Friday the busiest ever.
New research obtained by this newspaper shows how meticulous local people are when it comes to budgeting well in advance of what has become a retailing phenomenon.
Indeed, 60% of Northern Ireland shoppers now regard Black Friday as an integral part of their Christmas planning.
Local retail expert, Donald McFetridge, said he believed Northern Irish shoppers are already well prepared for the shopping bonanza, in terms of saving and time-planning.
"Traditionally, shoppers in this geographic region are fairly predictable, with many planning their shopping excursions carefully and - since the recession - also planning and budgeting for their spending well in advance," he said. "I predict that - this year in particular - retailers will be trying to encourage shoppers to keep spending from now and, for the next six weeks, right up until Christmas Eve.
"There will be many promotions, special discount days and special bespoke marketing campaigns used by retailers to see that this happens."
Falling on November 25 this year, Black Friday was introduced to the UK by supermarket chain Asda in 2013.
It comes the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday - the fourth Thursday in November - and it has traditionally signalled the start of the festive shopping season in the US.
Despite officially starting next Friday, Amazon has already started slashing prices on thousands of products, as it attempts to steal a march on its many rivals, with a 13-day discounting frenzy that began on Monday.
Although it is the first to launch its bargains, other retailers will enter the fray early, including Argos, which will be begin cutting prices from this Friday, and Tesco, which starts its Black Friday deals three days later.
The study, which was conducted with OnePoll, shows that 60% of people in Northern Ireland now class Black Friday as an integral part of their Christmas shopping.
Consumers are also willing to lose sleep to get a good deal, with the average shopper admitting that a 40% discount would be enough to see them camped up outside stores overnight.
According to Northern Ireland people surveyed, shoppers here are more likely than their English, Scottish or Welsh counterparts to save money in the run-up to Black Friday, with 49% doing this, compared to a 39% UK average.
Furthermore, over half (53%) painstakingly research deals, often spending over three hours in pursuit of products, which makes Northern Irish shoppers will to spend the longest time of all Black Friday shoppers.
In Belfast, consumers also intend to get up around 6.30am on November 25 and hit the stores around 8.18am - which is earlier than any other UK region on both counts.
The data shows that Northern Ireland people are the biggest queuers, as they're willing to wait in store for an average one hour and 43 minutes, while they'll happily wait online for over two hours.
Senior buyer Terry Markham at Watchshop.com, which provided the data, said shoppers are gearing up to make massive savings.
"Our research suggests that the Belfast shoppers are ready to hunt out those big bargains," he said. "As well as researching the best deals and saving a Black Friday shopping fund, Belfast shoppers are expected to rise early and queue for nearly two hours in-store to bag those big discounts."
The study was conducted between October 14-19 this year, with a sample size of 2,000 respondents.
The sample sizes for each of the 12 regions are representative of the UK population.