RETAIL stores in Cork city are greeting customers for the first time in six weeks this morning.
Some stores opened their doors early for trading with Penneys proving particularly popular with early morning shoppers.
Footfall in the city was healthy from 7am onwards as people gathered on Patrick Street.
There were queues at some stores but these were due to social distancing measures rather than the volume of shoppers.
Shopper Alison Daniels said she was keen to get in early to get some Christmas shopping done.
"We came down at 7am. There are five of us. There were a few people in the queue but it just flowed through. It was grand. I just needed a few presents for Christmas like pyjamas and a few things.
"There is more excitement to see the shops opening and to get in early."
"It’s fabulous, there's not many people around, there’s a grand flow and you can still see what you’re looking for. It’s really easy to shop.
Killeens native Chloe Bowen was one of the first in the door at Brown Thomas to exchange some items she bought online before she starts work in the city herself.
"I’m getting my shopping done before I go to work. I did a bit of online shopping but I think you’re better off to go into the shop and try things on. I can’t wait for the shops around Christmas, especially for the atmosphere. It’s great for the shops to be open."
Cork city and county retailers reopened their doors this morning after almost six weeks of closure as the country takes a phased approach to entering level 3 restrictions for the Christmas period.