independent

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Traders positive ahead of the last-minute rush

FESTIVE SPENDING PROVING BETTER THAN LAST YEAR

IT'S THE last-minute rush. And over the coming three days Sligo traders are confident it will provide them with a recession beating boost.

With festive spending already described as better than last year, shops are predicting a hectic run in to Christmas.

Tony Wehrly of Wehrly Brothers jewellers, O'Connell Street, said trade had been "very positive" so far.

Tony said: "We are already up a good bit compared to last year and I feel that trend will continue in the coming days."

The former Chamber of Commerce President cited the fact that people were not travelling North in such large numbers and stable prices as "a big help."

Tony said: "There was a good atmosphere around Sligo this Christmas.

"The Christmas Fayre in the Stephen Street car park attracted almost 20,000 and that certainly was a boost.

"The Christmas lights were also switched on a week earlier and it all added up to helping trade."

John Mullaney of Mullaney's described business so far as "steady" and said he was expecting it to build-up to the last minute.

John said: "We've had a busy week and we are happy, despite the recession. "People coming in know what they want. "It is noticeable they are working off lists and that means there hasn't been as much 'speculative' buying.

"Nevertheless, it has been solid and the run in to Christmas is always busy."

Eamonn Cunningham of EJ Menswear confirmed business during the month of December was "well up" on last year. Eamonn said: "We are finding it good. "There will always be the last minute rush.

"It's price driven this year and if people see right prices, they will spend money."

Eamonn is also predicted a good trade between Christmas and the New Year.

He said: "A lot of people are coming home for Christmas and they will be spending into the New Year.

"That will also make a difference."

The manager of the Quayside shopping centre, Christine Dolan said trade was "a lot better" than last year.

Footfall and spending had increased on 2011.

Christine said: "So far, it has been very good. There definitely has been an improvement. We expect the next three days to be even better."

Manager of the Johnston Court shopping centre, John Dunt, is predicting a "very healthy" three days.

John said: "Our numbers have certainly increased on last year.

"The last minute buying will bring things up more."

He revealed that the footfall of people visiting the centre had broken the two million mark for 2012 on December 12th.

The President of Sligo Chamber of Commerce Linda Moffitt said: "Retailers have had a challenging year overall.

"They are finding the run in to Christmas is positive.

"Retailers are hoping for a 'grand finale' in the coming days."

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