Monday 16 September 2019

Shops set for last-minute rush as the big day looms

Today starts last-minute frenzy to get ready for the big day

Christmas Shoppers on Grafton St. Photo: Doug O'Connor
Christmas Shoppers on Grafton St. Photo: Doug O'Connor

Gráinne Loughran

Dublin retailers are expecting a bumper week for trade as the final countdown to Christmas begins today.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce has said it is expecting an influx of last-minute and panic-striken shoppers to rush to shops this week.

Shopper Moira Goslin, from Swords, said the festive atmosphere was very good. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Shopper Moira Goslin, from Swords, said the festive atmosphere was very good. Photo: Steve Humphreys

"The sense amongst retailers is that a lot of spending decisions have been delayed until the final week," said Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber of Commerce.

"This is mainly due to Christmas day falling on a Sunday, which means people feel they have an extra weekend to shop."

Louis Copeland of Louis Copeland & Sons says that although trade so far has been at a similar level to previous years, they are expecting a major boost in sales in the coming days.

"From today on, it will all open up. With Christmas being on a Sunday, we're expecting some week ahead of us," he said. "Today people will realise that it's less than a week until Christmas, and they need to go to town."

Even though many people choose to do the majority of their Christmas shopping online, retailers say footfall will increase dramatically in the coming days as people get into the festive spirit.

Joe Plunkett of Tower Records said the company was expecting a "bumper" week.

"The last Saturday before Christmas and the 23rd of December are generally our busiest days," he said. "We're selling a good bit on the website but store footfall is the most important to us."

Paul Sheeran of Paul Sheeran Jewellers off Grafton Street said that people had been more willing to part with their hard earned cash this season when compared with previous years.

"There's a much nicer feeling around this year. People are getting back into enjoying and treating themselves," he said.

"Jewellery hasn't been top of the Christmas shopping list recently but now people are easing into spending more on themselves."

Busy

However, there have been some inevitable changes for high street retailers due to the increasing popularity of online shopping.

Chris Andrews of Weir and Sons on Grafton Street said although the retailer was looking forward to a busy week, consumers were also doing a lot of shopping via its website.

"A lot of people have left their shopping to the last minute with Christmas falling on a Sunday and it definitely has made a difference," he said.

"We're selling much more on the website compared to this time last year."

Shoppers on Grafton Street noted that the sales starting before Christmas have had a positive impact on their wallets.

"There are sales on everywhere and the atmosphere is very good," said Moira Goslin, from Swords.

"You may as well be in New York. There's no need to go anywhere else for shopping."

Irish Independent

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