Bargain hunters descend on Kilkenny for annual St Stephen’s Day sales splurge
BARGAIN hunters descended on Kilkenny city this morning in a hunt for cut price deals as retailers slashed prices for the annual St Stephen’s Day sales.
MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre reported brick trade from early this morning, with a steady stream of shoppers browsing the best bargains on offer at the centre’s outlets, almost all of which reopened for business today.
The mild weather, which contrasted starkly with the storm conditions in the weeks that plagued retailers and consumers in the weeks leading up to Christmas, also provided an extra stimulus for shoppers.
Overall, Kilkenny retailers were badly many affected by the adverse weather in the countdown to Christmas, which diverted many consumers to go online to do their shoppers.
Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce and Yulefest Kilkenny have both campaigned strongly in recent weeks urging people to buy local and #shopkilkenny to give retailers in the city and county a much-needed boost over the festive period.
A storm of controversy has been brewing between Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) and Met Éireann over what the group described as “alarmist” weather warnings they say deterred people from venturing out to do their shopping.
Meanwhile, fears over a bleak pre-Christmas trading performance led big name retailers such as House of Fraser, Debenhams, Gap, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Karen Millen to start discounting earlier than ever.
The rise of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, discount events held before Christmas, also enticed many more shoppers online.
Retail Excellence expects shoppers to splash around €200m across Stephen’s Day – with the bulk being spent on groceries and hospitality.