independent

Sunday 24 February 2019

Chamber's €250k retail voucher festive boost

David Looby

More than €250,000 in New Ross & District Chamber of Commerce Christmas vouchers are being spent in businesses across the district after what has been a strong retail month.

Chamber PRO Lorcan Kinsella said there was a good footfall in New Ross for the five weeks leading up to Christmas and on the weekends since as people increasingly looked local for their Christmas and sales shopping.

Lorcan said the chamber's busy Nollaig line-up of events attracted a lot of people into the town. 'There were voucher sales of €250,000. That is money that is spent directly in New Ross and district. So anyone who has a chamber membership and is on the voucher scheme can spend the money in those outlets so from that point of view it was very, very positive.'

Lorcan said there was a full calendar of events which kicked off on November 22 in New Ross. 'Every weekend there was an event on, whether it was the market, or Santa coming up the Barrow and through the town. There was great excitement so there was some sort of draw during Nollaig like when the lights were turned on. There was quite a considerable amount of energy and thought that went into organising all of that.'

Locally the sentiment was very positive from business owners in the run up to Christmas, he said. 'It was very busy, footfall wise. There is an onus on ourselves to put more thought into what we have here in New Ross so we really had a solid line-up of events to engage in the family feeling of Christmas. I think it really worked. A particular success was Santa arriving and the parade through the town. We had well over 1,000 at that and that's great for a provincial town competing with the likes of Waterford, the biggest Christmas market in the country and then you have Wexford, but I think we held our own in terms of what we wanted to put out.'

When asked if more free parking is needed to attract people into the town in the days and weeks before Christmas, Lorcan said: 'Parking is always going to be an issue. Free parking brings people in but I don't think it's a defining factor. We want to get more free parking around that time and we will communicate that as best we can.'

He said events like the Christmas Market, were advertised in shops and online, adding that 'there is always more to do and to do better', when it comes to advertising events. 'We are all striving to do it better and get the word out as we develop the New Ross Nollaig brand. It's an issue. If people aren't aware of where a location is let's look at that. Overall we had a very positive build up to Christmas.'

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