Shop Kilkenny: Don’t let bad weather bring down your Christmas cheer this weekend
SEVERE weather conditions are expected to blow high street retailers off course on one of the biggest traditional consumer weekends of the year.
Retail groups in Dublin are predicting a drop of 20pc in footfall in the capital due to the poor weather.
However, it is hoped that Kilkenny consumers who may have planned to travel to Dublin to do their shopping this weekend will instead opt to shop local and give businesses throughout the city and county a welcome boost in the final countdown to Christmas.
Kilkenny Chamber of Commerce and Yulefest Kilkenny have campaigned strongly in recent weeks as part of a drive to urge people to shop local this Christmas. Yulefest Kilkenny has coordinated a whole series of exciting festive events that have helped to attract more people into the city.
Despite the bad weather, the Christmas Market on the Parade is expected to continue to draw large crowds this weekend, while fans of Star Wars are in for a treat as the ‘Irish Garrison’ of Imperial Troops invades the city tomorrow. The Stormtroopers will set up camp at the Medieval Mile Museum at 11am before marching on MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre at noon, with plans to storm James Stephens Army Barracks from 2pm to 4:30pm.
Met Éireann has issued a yellow “severe” weather warning for tomorrow, saying there will be “hazardous conditions”, though forecasters were not yet sure just where the worst of the weather would hit.
Retail Excellence chief executive David Fitzsimons said he expects high streets across the country to experience a downturn if the weather turns our to be as bad as forecast. But he said it shouldn’t impact too much on shopping malls and centres with indoor sections.
Today the weather will be mostly cloudy, with patchy rain, drizzle and a few bright or brief sunny intervals later.
However winds will increase to strong to near gale-force winds near coasts, and temperatures will reach up to 9C tonight.
By tomorrow, there will be a “deepening area of low pressure” tracking near Ireland and bringing heavy rain and a potential period of strong winds.
Met Éireann is forecasting more heavy rain and strong gales on Sunday.
Meteorologist Liz Walsh said: “At the moment, there’s marked uncertainty regarding the forecast for Saturday.
“But the signals are for heavy rain accompanied by strong winds. Unfortunately we don’t have the details yet to pin it down where the heaviest rain and strongest winds will occur, so we need people to keep checking the website and listening out for forecasts.”