Retailers ready for a 'shopping boom' before cold returns

Clodagh Sheehy

SHOPS are bracing themselves for an huge influx over the next two days as shoppers try to finish their Christmas lists before icy conditions return.

Dublin Chamber of Commerce says shoppers and retailers have learned lessons from the bad weather in January and the most recent icy spell and are shopping "more carefully and more intensively".

Even during the snow "people shopped for other things" like snow-wear and supplies for the house "so they were still coming into town".

Chambers Policy and Communications Manager, Patrick King says while sales were down for Christmas items during the snow, when the ice cleared "everyone got back up and running and there has been more intensified shopping.

"Everyone has a good attitude and the expectation is that there will be a lot of deferred spending."

Even the Government depends on VAT from the months of December and Christmas which are the two biggest VAT-generating months of the year.

Mr King said people knew now where they stood in terms of the effects of the budget and knew how much they could spend. He encouraged shoppers to "get in early" and to drive in at off-peak times.

He also appealed to the local authorities to clear snow off paths as soon as it fell rather than playing "catch-up" when the snow had solidified in icy lumps.