Big bargains in store for shoppers as retailers slash prices up to 60pc

Shoppers will be out in force on Grafton Street. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins

Laura Lynott

Bargain-hunters are in for a shopping bonanza today, with price cuts of 60pc or more to lure consumers back to the main street after a tough retail season.

Big ticket items including TVs and laptops are expected to see major reductions, and footwear and women's clothing will have attractive discounts.

Retail Excellence Ireland expects shoppers to splash around €200m today, with the bulk of this being spent on groceries and hospitality.

A price war is set to get under way among major clothing stores and grocery shops as they compete to boost their final season sales by offering online and in-store deals.

"We could be looking at 60pc discounts and 40pc to 50pc off footwear and across a variety of categories in one store," Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke told the Herald.

"Electronic items are likely to see strong discounts, but there's a balance to be struck, given trading challenges."

Online shopping has grown rapidly, affecting Irish retailers, as 70pc of the online spend has gone to foreign businesses.

Retail Ireland, which is part of Ibec, said the next four days would be crucial in determining whether the Christmas season could be deemed a success.


"There have been challenges, but we have to overcome those, and the indication is that things are going reasonably well for Irish retailers," Mr Burke said.

"If we continue with how busy stores have been in rec-ent days, hopefully this time next week we will be talking about a hugely successful season."

Earlier this year, the group indicated an increase in consumer spending in the region of 3pc over Christmas.

If a high level of shoppers hit the streets today, it would significantly boost sales, potentially by more than €150m for the month.

Shops have been impacted by bad weather, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the drop in sterling leading to Irish consumers travelling to the Northern for bargains and the threat of Brexit chaos.

However, Irish shoppers have more buying power this year due to increased disposable income, which has risen around 10pc since January 2017 and a growing number of people in work - a record 2.27 million.

Coupled with a strong economy, prices have fallen nearly 10pc since 2013 as competition between retailers has driven prices back to 1999 levels.

One of the biggest social events of the Christmas season also takes place today, with the Leopardstown St Stephen's Day races in Dublin expected to attract around 15,000 people.