RETAILERS ARE REPORTING a 20 per cent increase in sales today compared with St Stephen’s Day figures last year.
According to representative group Retail Excellence Ireland, most store owners who decided to open are delighted with the outcome.
“It is going great,” said chief executive David Fitzsimons. “Obviously, some people started very early and there were hundreds of people queuing outside most department stores. However, some other shops, including Zara, also reported lines outside the door.”
One retailer noted that in just the first hour of the sale, they had taken in 50 per cent of the trade done in the entire day last year.
The Crescent Shopping Centre in Limerick opened its doors on 26 December for the first time in its history today.
“It is the largest shopping centre in the west and they had a phenomenal day,” claimed Fitzsimons. “Even the most sceptical retailers have said they had a superb day.”
However, it is not all good news for the sector.
With Met Éireann’s red alert weather warning lasting through tomorrow afternoon, the traditional first day of sales may be impacted.
“Tomorrow is really the most important day,” added Fitzsimons. “As it is the first when all shops are reopen. It is a time when the economy could really start to move again.
“But the weather is disappointing. There wasn’t a great Christmas Eve because of the rain and now it is turning again.”