No respite as shops open on Stephen's Day

Claire Murphy

CONSUMERS are being lured back to the shops just 24 hours after Christmas Day.

Retailers are hoping that customers will be spending as soon as possible as shops are due to open on St Stephen's Day.

Last year, a number of shops opened on December 26.

And the experiment was so successful that shopkeepers are hoping for a repeat of last year.


Clerys, Arnotts, Brown Thomas and Debenhams are all planning on beginning their winter sales.

Meanwhile Penneys will open its major Dublin stores on Mary Street, O'Connell Street and Dundrum Town Centre.

But clothing and food giant Marks & Spencer said that it would not open large chains until December 27, with a spokesperson saying: "We prefer to give our staff a break."

Next, which has one of the most popular Christmas sales, said it would not disclose their starting date and post-Christmas opening times until a few days beforehand.

Dublin City Centre Business Association said that most large stores would be open.

"There's been a lot of panic between the sales figures and the snow, so it's not surprising that places will open, especially when you see savings are up 8pc this year, so there is money out there to be spent," said the chief executive Tom Coffey.

Mr Coffey said that a number of large retailers and shopping centres had found themselves in NAMA and so accountants were outlining that it was paramount that they opened in an attempt to garner further revenues.

The Mandate trade union said that last year's St Stephen's Day opening had been portrayed as exceptional because of the collapse of retail sales, but now it appeared to be the norm even though it fell on a Sunday.

"There's a huge amount of UK employers who see St Stephen's Day as big business, and I can't see that going back even if there is a recovery," said a representative.


She added that the extra opening would simply spread spending over a longer period rather than bring in extra cash.

Mandate had written to large retailers asking them to confirm that the arrangement would be voluntary and staff would not be forced to work if they didn't want to.