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Wednesday 7 June 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# winter sales
Handbags at dawn: People were literally pulling bargains out of each other's hands this morning
“People were literally grabbing at them — ‘I got it first… No, it’s mine’.”

SOME PEOPLE ARE really putting the ‘hunt’ into bargain-hunting in Dublin this St Stephen’s Day.

At least, according to some early Winter Sales shoppers who spoke to 

Handbags seem to be the most desired item in this year’s sales.

“I was in Brown Thomas at ten past nine this morning… People were pulling handbags out of each other nearly,” Maura Lyons said, as she headed home from a busy morning’s shopping.

Another shopper – Kate – said she had seen ‘shoe fights’ and ‘bag fights’ break out at several stores.

People were literally grabbing at them — ‘I got it first…  No, it’s mine’.

“I wanted to get bags and I just left it,” Kate said.

“I purposefully came into shops for handbags and jackets, and I was like I was, like — ‘no, no, I’m leaving it”.

Daragh Brophy Maura Lyons Daragh Brophy

It’s been busy in Dublin since early this morning.

A handful of shoppers were even queuing outside Brown Thomas on Grafton Street just after 6am — even though the store didn’t open until 9.

Hugh O'Connell / Hugh O'Connell / /

Other major stores also reported large queues. This was the scene at Arnotts on Henry Street….

Michael Chester Michael Chester

Towns and shopping centres around the country are also said to be thronged, as people look to land a bargain before they head back to work.

Retail Ireland said this morning that a surge in activity was needed between now and next week ensure its prediction of the best Christmas for retail in five years comes true.

Mixed bag

Some who braved the centre of Dublin this morning weren’t too bothered by the crowds.

Student Jasmine — who’s from China, and is studying in England — said it was much easier to get around in Irish shops during the sales, compared to the big department stores in London.

“It’s not as bad,” she said.

“There are more crowds in London…  More queues outside waiting for stores like Selfridges and Harrods to open.

It would be much quieter here in Ireland.

Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Others still managed to avoid the worst of the queues altogether by popping in a little later.

“Normally we’d go walking or following the hunt on St Stephen’s Day,” Mary Leahy, from Meath, said.

I was bringing my son into work and I had to drive him in today, so we said while we’re in Dublin we’d have a look.

Daragh Brophy Mary Leahy & Angela Leahy managed to avoid the worst of the crowds. Daragh Brophy

“I didn’t even know shops opened on Stephen’s Day,” she added.

We’re not ones really for beating down doors at the crack of dawn.

Have you been hitting the sales today? How did you find it? Let us know in the comments section below… 

- First published 2.54 pm

Read: The teachers’ strike day was the busiest pre-Christmas shopping day this year

Read: IN PICTURES: Your Christmas Day dips and runs 

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