Elbows out! Fashion frenzy as Irish shoppers rush to snap up a bargain in St Stephen's Day sales
'Handbags at dawn' might be a somewhat tired phrase, but never has it been more apt.
Luxury shoppers queued outside Brown Thomas' flagship store on Dublin's Grafton Street from the early hours of the morning to be among the first customers to snare a bargain when it opened its doors at 9am.
Their post-Christmas sale is famous among fashion lovers with generous discounts applied across departments, including reduced rates in homewares and The Shoe Room, but the real excitement happens in the accessories hall.
High-end concessions like Chanel and Louis Vuitton don't participate in the sale, but other brands like Mulberry, Chloe and Stella McCartney are all marked down and
Across town, Arnotts on Henry Street, was just as busy; despite adding their sale purchases on its website as of this morning. Brown Thomas' online sale goes live at 9pm tonight and shoppers can get a preview of what's available before then.
A spokesperson for the store described trade as "brisk" today. Managing Director of Arnotts Donald McDonald said: "We are delighted with the turnout for the first day of sale both instore and online. There was a great atmosphere in the store this morning as approximately 200 customers charged through the doors seeking out the best offers on their favourite brands.
"Christmas trade has been very strong right up to closing time on Christmas eve and the first day of the sale is now well ahead of last year both instore and online."
While footfall hasn't dropped this year, spending only increased by approximately 5%, despite the upturn in the economy, as Irish shoppers adopted American trends like Black Friday on November 24 and Cyber Monday on November 27.
Deputy CEO of Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), Lorraine Higgins said the sector endured a "less than robust final week" leading up to Christmas, which she believes was due to Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday.
It's expected that €130m will be spent by bargain shoppers around the country, with an estimated €70m from Dublin alone.
The total spend is likely to outstrip last year, as more than €130m could be forked out by bargain hunters across the country.