IT was handbags at dawn as discounts of up to 40pc on designer names like Prada and Michael Kors saw shoppers grabbing six or more handbags at once.
A stampede of bargain-hunters made a beeline for the accessories department at Brown Thomas after hundreds of people queued at the luxury department store's flagship shop on Grafton Street, Dublin, to be first in the door when the sale began at 9am.
As the doors swung open yesterday, hundreds of shoppers pushed, shoved and elbowed their way to the sales tables where designer handbags were snatched up -- two, four, six, or even more at a time.
And the price tags -- which were still over the €300 mark despite the discount -- were no object for some shoppers.
Brown Thomas Managing Director Stephen Sealey said many of the customers were Chinese ex-patriates looking for an impressive gift for the Chinese New Year on January 31.
Across town at the Dundrum Shopping Centre, queues formed as early as 5am, as more than 1,600 bargain-hunters waited for Next and Aldo to open their doors at 6am, followed by River Island at 7am.
In Galway, the Eyre Square Shopping Centre was heaving after opening its doors at noon, which disappointed many bargain-hunters who arrived at 8am.
But Cork's Merchant Quay shopping centre wasn't as busy as management had expected, possibly because not all of the shops opened.
Dave Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland described yesterday as one of the busiest post-Christmas shopping days ever in which people have taken to shopping on St Stephen's Day.
"Sales are definitely up by about 8pc over last year," he said.