Saturday 16 December 2017

Retailers enjoying a festive lift in fortunes

Anne-Marie Walsh

IT HAS been a bumper week for shopping as retailers report a double-digit growth in spending for the first time since the recession.

Bargain-hunting hit a high point this week and surpassed the last-minute Christmas rush, as many revellers enjoyed the final days of their festive break.

One major retailer estimated that turnover in business increased by up to 3pc last month and by 8pc to 10pc from St Stephen's Day to this week.

Keith Rogers, chairman of Retail Excellence Ireland and Head of Operations at the Ecco Footwear chain, said the fortunes of retailers began to buck up before Christmas.

"For the second half of December, particularly the 10 days before Christmas, people did come out and start spending," he said.

"This is always the biggest shopping week of the year, and it was better than last year."

However, he said spending reached a high point after Christmas, partly due to the fact that January 2 was a Wednesday, so many workers had taken the rest of the week off.

Last year, it fell on a Monday so many people had gone back to work before the week was out.

Retailers including Arnotts, Awear, Clerys, Carraig Donn, Debenhams and Shaws opened their doors on December 26, offering up to 50pc off many items.

Irish Independent

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