A PLEA has been issued for people to ‘shop local’ when going online to chase Black Friday bargains. 

The biggest shopping day of the year takes place this week, with more online sales expected after much of the central belt, including Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Glasgow, was moved into tier 4 of lockdown restrictions.

However, where possible, local people are being urged to support businesses in their area, rather than turning to larger retailers.

It is hoped this will help many of the area’s smaller traders survive these tough times.

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “While the shift in how we shop has offered a lifeline to some consumers and businesses, I’d encourage people to think local first and support local high streets safely and in line with public health guidelines.”

Shoppers are also being urged to make sure they shop safely when making purchases online.

Mr Hepburn added: “As our shopping habits adapt and change, it is important that everyone has the information they need to avoid online scams, identify unfair delivery costs and ensure they get a good service.

“This year, National Consumer Week is focused on raising awareness of these issues and what people can do if something does go wrong – offering straightforward advice that could save money and disappointment.

“The Scottish Government is taking action to protect consumers. We have launched a free online parcel delivery pricing map – which can be found at www.fairdeliveries.scot – to help people identify unfair delivery charges.

“Next year, we will also establish Consumer Scotland – a new body to represent the interests of consumers that will focus on investigating consumer harm and developing solutions to tackle it.”

For more details on how to shop safely, visit https://consumeradvice.scot.