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Overwhelming support to shop local

People are making a conscious effort to show solidarity and protect jobs.

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

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

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

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

Some 98% of  people are making a conscious effort to support homegrown businesses more during the pandemic.

With firms hoping the Christmas spending spree will keep them afloat after a troubling year for retail, the shop local show of solidarity looks set to continue.

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

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A woman wearing a face mask carries several shopping bags in Dublin’s city centre (PA)

A woman wearing a face mask carries several shopping bags in Dublin’s city centre (PA)

A woman wearing a face mask carries several shopping bags in Dublin’s city centre (PA)

Around 65% of people have started the annual shopping spree, while almost a third (32%) admit to leaving it until the last minute.

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 Christmas, most of those who have purchased some presents started in October (57%), with some 5% starting 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.

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.Julie Hastings

Around 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, people say they will miss family and friends most if restrictions continue (89%), followed by socialising and soaking up the festive atmosphere, the survey shows.

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Julie Hastings, marketing director of Hastings Hotels, said: “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 eight months.

“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.”

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