Retailers 'cautiously optimistic' of lucrative final shopping days
Dublin retailers and businesses are hoping for a bumper week with Christmas shoppers over the coming days.
Dublin Chamber of Commerce last night said retailers are "cautiously optimistic" of a potential influx of last-minute shoppers in the final week before Christmas.
"The sense amongst retailers is that a lot of spending decisions have been delayed until the final week," said Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
"This is mainly due to Christmas Day falling on a Sunday, which means people feel they have an extra weekend to shop," she added.
Louis Copeland of Louis Copeland & Sons said that, although trade so far has been at a similar level to previous years, they are expecting a major week ahead.
"From today on, it'll all open up. With Christmas being on a Sunday, we're expecting some week ahead of us," he told the Herald. "Today people will realise that it's less than a week until Christmas, and they need to go to town."
Joe Plunkett of Tower Records agreed, saying that they were expecting a "bumper" week ahead.
"The last Saturday before Christmas and December 23 are generally our busiest days," he said. "We're selling a good bit on the website but store footfall is the most important to us."
Shoppers on Grafton Street yesterday noted that the sales starting before Christmas has had a positive impact on their wallets.
"There are sales on everywhere and the atmosphere is very good," says Moira Goslin, from Swords, who was shopping with her daughter, Sandra Hyde. "You may as well be in New York. There's no need to go anywhere else for shopping, only here."
Meanwhile Frank Thornton from Galway, who was visiting his son and daughter-in-law in Terenure, said the weather was making a difference to their shopping.
"We're doing bits and pieces while we're here and going to do a bit more tomorrow.
"We've done very well on the shoe shopping with the sales on. It's great with such beautiful weather," he said.
However, Gordon MacKenzie and Karen Welsh from Fife, Scotland, said Dublin was much more expensive for shopping than back home.
"We're doing some shopping, but it's very expensive for us here," Gordon said.
Lisa Gabriel from Blanchardstown said the prolonged Christmas period was making a difference to getting around the city.
"We're doing some of our shopping today, and we've found some good value.
"It's that bit quieter today with Christmas being next Sunday, I think if we had come in yesterday it would have been too busy," she said.
Some retailers are noticing an improvement in spending this year. Paul Sheeran of Paul Sheeran Jewellers, off Grafton Street, said that people have seemed more willing to spend money so far this Christmas, compared to previous years.
"There's certainly a much nicer feeling around this year. People are getting back into enjoying and treating themselves," he said.
"Jewellery hasn't been top of the Christmas shopping list recently but now people are easing into spending more on themselves," he said.