Shopping back in fashion this autumn
DUBLIN retailers have suffered a 20pc decrease in footfall, but they are fighting back with a three-day Fashion Festival between October 1-3 aimed at wooing shoppers.
Reduced parking rates of €5 for three hours, late-night Friday shopping, 15-20pc discounts in certain stores and fashion-themed menus and cocktails in restaurants and bars are part of the autumn campaign.
Dublin Festival of Fashion -- a celebration of Irish style -- has been created by Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID), which was responsible for the successful Dine In Dublin event, which attracted 25,000 diners into the capital.
"There's no doubt that it's been a tough environment and consumer expenditure took a fall from 2008, but things are stabilising and the view of a lot of retailers is that we've probably passed the worst of it," said Richard Guiney, chief executive of Dublin City BID.
The decline in shoppers has been more dramatic on the southside than on the northside, Mr Guiney confirmed, and the figure of a 20pc fall was consistent with what had happened across the country.
"Things have been moving in the right direction since about April or May and we are catching up. It is tentative, consumer confidence is still very fragile but we hope that Dublin Festival of Fashion will help instil some confidence," he said.
While the Dublin Festival of Fashion is aimed at shoppers, Dublin Fashion Week has gone on ice for the second consecutive season. Director Sonia Reynolds confirmed to the Irish Independent that the event "is currently suspended due to its difficulties attracting sponsors".
The event, which was formerly sponsored by Motorola, did not go ahead last spring but there are hopes it could be revitalised for the autumn-winter 2011 season.