Retailers in the capital are “cautiously optimistic” about the final week of trading before Christmas, according to the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.
Shops are hoping that today will see the start of a last-minute frenzy to get ready for the big day. Shops in the city are anticipating a higher footfall in the days ahead particularly as schools and offices remain open so close to the big day. Dublin Chamber of Commerce chief executive Mary Rose Burke, speaking on Sunday, said “The sense amongst retailers is that a lot of spending decisions have been delayed until the final week”
Retailers expect to benefit from what shoppers perceive as an ‘extra weekend’ before Christmas. Burke says “Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, which means people feel they have an extra weekend to shop. Both footfall and spending in Dublin city centre so far this month have been strong, with most shops reporting that numbers are at similar levels to last year.”
Ms Burke also noted there was “a very festive atmosphere” in the city, which could be encouraging shoppers to get to the city.
Louis Copeland of Louis Copeland & Sons, speaking to the Irish Independent, said that although trade so far has been at a similar level to previous years, they are expecting a major boost in sales in the coming days. “From today on, it will all open up. With Christmas being on a Sunday, we’re expecting some week ahead of us,” he said. “Today people will realise that it’s less than a week until Christmas, and they need to go to town.”
Paul Sheeran of Paul Sheeran Jewellers, located just off Grafton Street, also feels that people had been more willing to spend money this season, especially compared with previous years. “There’s 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.”
Shoppers on Grafton Street noted that the number of shops beginning their sales before Christmas have had a positive impact on their wallets and could be another explanation to the increase in footfall.