Browned-off shoppers delayed by flooding

Adelina Campos

LUXURY department store Brown Thomas opened its doors this morning to bargain hunters after it was forced to cancel its first day of winter sales on St Stephen's Day due to flooding.

The freezing weather caused mayhem at the store on Grafton Street, with approximately 500,000 litres of water ruining homewares, shoes and women's wear yesterday.

An insider told the Herald that managers of different sections within Brown Thomas were alerted of the flood at 4am on St Stephen's Day.

The well informed source added that the shoe department and the Prada section were particularly affected by the incident.

It emerged that yesterday's events were caused by a firefighting sprinkler in the fifth floor that had been damaged because of the cold.

While yesterday's sale was abandoned, the source added "it is expected that even more reductions will be in place today" to satisfy the hordes of disappointed shoppers who were hoping to start their sale shopping on Sunday.

"When your phone goes off before 6am, you know it is not good news," managing director Stephen Sealey said.

He estimated that the flood had "taken out" about 25pc of the shop floor "but thankfully none of the stock rooms were flooded".


"It has presented us with a real challenge, there is no doubt about that," he said.

"But we have had tremendous support from our staff and our suppliers."

Although the shop may not look "as pretty as [Brown Thomas] would like by then", he confirmed that doors would open at 9am.