Wednesday 16 April 2014

Streets thronged as shoppers embrace last-minute rush

caroline Sharkey and Marie Elena English from Dublin out shopping on Grafton Street

Christmas shoppers were out in full force yesterday, even though overall sales are down marginally this year over last.

A combination of poor weather and a frugal mindset has led to a slight decrease in overall sales in the run-up to Christmas this year, said David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland.

"People are much more likely to postpone buying big items into the sales period," he said.

Still, Irish consumers are expected to spend an estimated €2.2bn altogether this Christmas.

And there was no shortage of shoppers on Dublin's streets yesterday.

Trinity college student Josh Byrne (22), from Harold's Cross, said he's simply been too busy to get to the shops any sooner.

"I finished college on Friday and I've been in work every day," he said. "I've bought for two people so far. It's stressful and people are a bit stressed but they're in good spirits."

Mother-of-two Mary Cummins (49), from Portmarnock, north Dublin (pictured right), wasn't quite as panicked.

With most of her Christmas shopping done and dusted, the credit control officer was taking advantage of the pre-Christmas sales at some of the big department stores where prices on some items -- especially Christmas decorations -- were slashed by up to 70pc.

Wielding two enormous bags stuffed with giant Christmas crackers, she said she came to town early for the sales and wasn't disappointed.

"I came in for some bargains and I got what I wanted," she said. "There's really good value."

Irish Independent

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