Drop your bags in 'shopping creche'
DUBLIN shoppers will be able to offload their heavy Christmas purchases in designated "shopping bag creches" across the city.
The new service provides free drop-off points over the festive period.
The initiative, introduced by the Luas and Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID), hopes to encourage shoppers to remain in the city once the are are freed of their bulky buys. Drop-off points have been established in Stephen's Green Shopping Centre and the GPO Arcade, Henry Street.
BID chief Richard Guiney said the move was to encourage shoppers to stay on in the centre.
"We wanted to offer people a service that would add something extra to their shopping experience in the city and make it a little easier," he said.
"Hop, Shop & Drop will free up people so that they can enjoy the unique Christmas atmosphere in town."
This is the first time a left-luggage service has been introduced to the capital and its hoped that it can be extended over the next few years.
"In the longer term we would see this as something that could be rolled out to more locations and as a more permanent offering to shoppers across Dublin city," Mr Guiney said.
He said the footfall has stabilised towards 2009 levels and that the six weeks running up to the Christmas period is worth close to €1bn to city businesses.
Passenger numbers on the Luas jump by 18pc in December, with over 85,000 using the green and red line service.
The busiest day of the year has typically been the Friday before Christmas, when the number of passengers jumps to 130,000.
Cara Moloney, Luas marketing manager, said that a priority queuing system will be in place at busy times for customers in possession of a valid Luas ticket.
Other initiatives include a 'kids go free' deal and reduced parking rates.
Hop, Shop & Drop opens today and runs until January 5 and will open from Thursday to Sunday.
Further information is available by visiting the website www.dublinatchristmas.ie