Toy shops facing busiest day of year next Monday
STAFF at one of Ireland's largest toy shops are braced for an onslaught of Christmas shoppers on Monday.
The first Monday of December is one of the busiest toy-shopping days of the year, both online and in-store, according to Smyths Toys Superstores.
An analysis of the spending habits of Irish shoppers carried out by the store suggests Monday is the day parents and other family members cross presents off their lists.
Meanwhile, it has been revealed the average Irish person will fork out more then €552 on gifts this festive season, although people without children will spend 61pc less according to a study commissioned by Three mobile.
Dubliners are expected to spend 19pc more than people from Cork. Most shoppers (55pc) will hit the high street for their gifts, but 45pc will buy them online.
A weekend away was chosen as the most wanted present by 58pc of the 1,004 people polled.
The vast majority of under-25s are dreaming of a "techie" Christmas, listing smartphones at the top of their wishlist, followed by tablets and desktop or laptop computers.
But their parents and grandparents are not far behind, with tablet computers cited as the most desired gift among 35 to 44-year-olds, and e-readers listed as the most wanted electronic gadget for people older than 65.
The survey also found when it comes to Christmas, paper is far from obsolete, with the vast majority of children (72pc) preferring to write their presents wishlist this way.
And despite the rise of internet video calls, telephone calls are still the most popular way of getting in touch with a loved one who lives abroad on Christmas day, with 64pc opting for this method. Skype and text messages came next.
When it comes to the perfect celebrity guest at the dinner table on the big day, President Michael D Higgins came out on top.
He was followed by U2 frontman Bono, Irish football captain Robbie Keane and teenage heartthrob Niall Horan, from One Direction.
The study came as an association of online Irish retailers warned that consumers were doing Irish businesses and jobs a serious disservice by buying presents and goods on the web from international firms.
"This is negatively affecting Irish retail business and jobs growth in the sector, and it will have a particularly negative impact on potential sales for Irish retailers in the run-up to Christmas and beyond," the eMark organisation said.
Noting that the online retail market was set to hit €21bn in value by 2017, the association urged Irish internet shoppers to look for the eMark logo when buying goods online this Christmas and in the future.