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These are the Communion dresses for €27

A LEADING retailer is now selling new Communion dresses for less than €30.

TK Maxx launched its new value range of Communion dresses from €26.99 in its stores across the country today.

The move comes as a survey commissioned by the retailer showed that 94pc of Irish parents feel they spend too much on Holy Communions -- particularly on girls.



recession

Prices for Communion dresses can often run to as much as several hundred euro at the top end of the market in Ireland.

But it seems the recession could finally be making an impact with 40pc of those surveyed saying they don't plan on spending more than €100 on their child's outfit this year.

The majority have a similar budget in mind for the rest of the family, themselves included.

The survey found that over a third of Irish parents surveyed (35pc) agreed that the most important thing about what a child wears on their Communion day is that they like it, followed by value for money (13pc).

The new range was officially launched today, and is already available for sale in its 16 stores nationwide. More stock will arrive next week and there will be around 250 pieces per store.

The dresses include a range of styles including sleeveless and capped sleeves, with lace, beading, pearls, bows and tulle.

The most expensive communion dresses for girls aged between six and 10 is around €59.99 in the TK Maxx stores. There is also clothing available for boys. Meanwhile, it is likely that other retailers will also follow suit as parents pare back their spending on the occasion.

Dermott Jewell, the head of the Consumers' Association of Ireland said: "It's going to be the answer to a prayer for a lot of parents.

"It's a strong competitive action in the market, and that's what we need."

"There is a still a choice there, but to have a choice at that element of value is very important in Ireland. It's good to see it. There is still choice, but at least there is a choice at an affordable rate."

Families collectively spent about €45m celebrating First Communions last year.

fdillon@herald.ie