Retailers plan 'doorbuster' sales to boost sagging sector
Published 24/12/2011 | 05:00
CANNY consumers willing to forego sleep can scoop some genuine bargains with discounts of up to 70pc on St Stephen's Day.
Retailers who struggled through a largely lacklustre Christmas period are planning to pull out all stops on Monday with some great bargains geared to get crowds through their doors, according to the retail association, Retail Excellence Ireland, (REI).
"There will be a lot of door-buster sales," said REI chief executive David Fitzsimons.
"The other side of Christmas, we're looking at 70pc off," he said.
"A lot of retailers are overstocked especially in clothing and footwear."
Die-hard shoppers who spend the night camped outside of Clery's department store in Dublin in order to be the first in the door at 9am will be appropriately rewarded with high quality beds for just €1.
There will also be other furniture bargains. A Delta sofa normally selling for €1,590 will be up for grabs for just €50 while a Horizon armchair that normally sells for €1,050 is going for just €20.
Across the road, Arnott's department store is offering 70pc off on designer handbags and up to 50pc off in all departments, including slashed prices on technology and home appliances.
But for those who prefer to remain under the duvet on St Stephen's Day, online retailer FatCheese.ie claims consumers can find just as many bargains from the comfort of their own homes.
The company's co-founder Ahmed Zaman said: "Many of the online retailers will actually begin their sales earlier online and in many cases there will be more stock available online.
"Many people do not realise that these sales take place online and instead end up fighting the weather and then with each other for the best bargain," he said.
Meanwhile, the sagging retail sector got a much-needed boost yesterday, according to Mr Fitzsimons.
It was the busiest day of the Christmas shopping season so far, with many retailers experiencing a massive surge in footfall and spending.
The REI's informal survey of about 500 retailers -- from the major chains to smaller independents -- found that shoppers were hitting the country's shops in their droves yesterday.
Many were spurred on by pre-Christmas sales by some fashion retailers offering discounts of up to 50pc, Mr Fitzsimons said.
But because Christmas falls on a weekend this year, many shoppers were simply leaving their shopping until the end of the week, he said.
"I think that people have been working and they're now off and shopping," he said.
"It's been building every day in the lead-up to Christmas," he said.
But it may be just a temporary reprieve as they head into what will likely be another challenging year next year, he warned.
"People were fraught with worry at the beginning of the week. But this is a minor interruption in a significant amount of grief. Next year is looking as grim as ever," he said.
But for now, the association is welcoming the slight increase in trade -- 0.68pc -- over the same period last year.