€5m spent every hour in the sales
Spending is expected to return to boom era levels when the doors open in the first post-Christmas sales today.
The queues started to snake around shops early this morning as retailers pinned their hopes on a spending sales splurge to boost end-of-year figures.
Shoppers will splash out more than €5m every hour as retailers enjoy the busiest festive period for seven years.
From ladies' fashion and jewellery to electronics, bargain hunters will be out in force today with slashed prices and once-off deals.
Retail experts have warned shoppers to make a plan before hitting the sales.
They recommend fashion shoppers do a quick edit of their wardrobes before setting off for the stores - and not to buy 'bargains' that they would not have wanted to buy at full price, no matter how much the write-down.
And they have advised not to go to sales on an empty stomach, as research shows it leads to expensive mistakes.
In the capital, most sectors traded exceptionally well during the run-up to and both daytime and evening shopping in the capital proved robust.
But while the general outlook was positive, experts warned parts of provincial Ireland were left lagging behind.
Retail Excellence Ireland predicts that Christmas trade could be up 5pc compared with last year, with families spending almost €550m on food alone - over €34m more than last year.
The highly anticipated sale which starts today at Arnotts in Dublin, the country's oldest department store, will see up to 50pc reductions on leading brands.