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Sunday 30 April 2017

Earliest-ever summer sales kick off

Aideen Sheehan Consumer Correspondent

THE summer sales have kicked off earlier than ever as stores battle to get customers in the door.

Large department stores have begun slashing prices a week earlier than last year as retailers struggle to get a march on their competitors by offering discounts of up to 70pc to shoppers.

Debenhams and House of Fraser kicked off their sales yesterday, while Arnotts will begin theirs at 8am tomorrow.

Debenhams said they were running their biggest-ever half-price sale, and their early start would force others to follow their lead.

A spokesperson said they were launching the sale a week earlier than last year because of competition to be the first, and because consumers were demanding value.

Shoppers would be able to get summer holiday essentials such as beach towels, swimsuits and suitcases at 50pc, while clothes by designers Jasper Conran, Betty Jackson, Matthew Williamson and John Rocha were also being cut by up to 50pc.

However despite hefty discounts, Irish shoppers will still pay way more than British consumers for many items -- for example a Riviera coffee table and garden chairs set has been cut from €1,033.50 to €448.50, but in Debenhams UK outlets the sale price is over €100 cheaper at £299 (€346).

Arnotts Director of Retail Leesa Kavanagh said the start of their sale tomorrow was five days earlier than last year "following the trend in the UK market to move sales forward".

In the electrical department Dyson vacuum cleaners would be reduced from €249 to €149 and Philips 32" high definition TVs would be reduced from €599 to €399.

A Clerys spokesperson said they began discounting prices of some ranges by up to 50pc yesterday, with other departments including in-store concession outlets set to follow suit next Thursday.

Brown Thomas said that their sale will not start until next Thursday when they will offer discounts of up to 50pc in all their outlets nationwide.

Irish Independent

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