| 6.4°C Dublin

Early birds bag best bargains as sales get off to a flying start

Dubliners took to the streets from early yesterday morning to shake off Christmas dinner and secure a bargain or two in the process.

The city centre was flooded with bargain hunters as the sales season began in earnest.

Canny shoppers told the Herald about some of the deals that could be snapped up.

Irma Rubstaviciute and her friend Ciara Foley (both 16) from Stoneybatter said they were in town to buy clothes and were happy with the deals they got.

"I got an Adidas hoodie for €35 in Lifestyle Sports," said Irma.


There were heavy downpours, but the weather did not put the pals off.

"We're trying to stay indoors," said Irma.

One woman and her daughter had come from Monaghan, but were disappointed when they ran into the rain in Ardee.

"We just came up for a look but we're ready for home now," said the mum.

She said they had got what they came for and were happy to get €200 off a laptop at PC World.

But the excitement got the better of some people, with gardai called to one store in Henry Street amid reports of "murderous screams" from a woman.

Shopper Clare O'Donoghue told how she had heard the commotion as the shops opened for the day.

"It was murderous screaming - we thought something really bad had happened but it was over really quick and it was sorted out really fast," she said.

Another woman claimed to have been struck in the back by a fellow shopper as she made her way into Brown Thomas in Grafton Street.

"There was a big queue outside Brown Thomas. I got punched in the back," she said. "All the good things were gone within a few seconds, but I did get a few things that nobody wanted."

There were massive queues outside the upmarket retailer from early morning in scenes that were repeated outside Arnotts.

Some shoppers reported having got up at 5am so they could beat the crowds making a beeline for the best of the bargains.

Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, said the next few days would be key to determining if Christmas 2014 would meet earlier positive expectations of the best Christmas in five years.


But they said feedback from key retailers suggests that a surge in shopping between now and New Year is still needed to reach those levels.

Sean Murphy of Retail Excellence Ireland said queues were "out the door", particularly for giftware sections, electrical goods, menswear and young fashions.

"The rain is quite heavy so we're hoping that will clear," he said.

Massive crowds were also reported at Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown shopping centres as well as at Dundrum Town Centre.