Sales muted but steady in city post-Christmas, say Cork retailers

Numerous Cork businesses told The Echo that while the usual pre-pandemic queues haven’t been seen this year, sales have been steady
Sales muted but steady in city post-Christmas, say Cork retailers

People in Cork city centre during the post-Christmas sales. Picture: Denis Minihane.

IT’S been a muted but busy post-Christmas sales period in Cork, according to a number of local retailers.

Although some experts reported a 20 to 30 per cent drop in footfall in Irish stores this week, numerous Cork businesses told The Echo that while the usual pre-pandemic queues haven’t been seen this year, sales have been steady.

“We opened on Monday and while the morning was slow, it took off after 11am and Tuesday and Wednesday were even busier. We had a lot of people in from Limerick and Kerry as well,” said Eddie Mullins, of Fitzgerald Menswear on Patrick Street.

“I think people were just a little cautious on the first day and decided to come later. My prediction is that it’s going to spread out over the next few weeks.”

Mr Mullins said that having a constant flow of customers, rather than a crowd waiting early morning, has worked in the favour of retail workers.

“People are very focused rather than just coming in for a browse. Previously, you’d start the sale and it would just be blocked with people and that was really difficult,” he said.

“It’s nice and even now and from talking to other retailers it seems to be the same way around the country. I see it in other shops around the city as well. It’s an even flow and people are in great form.

“We’re beefing up our roster for the next few weeks because I do think it’ll be busy going into January.”

Some business owners were surprised by the number of people shopping in Cork city this week.

Brian Murphy , Ballincollig and Chloe Cummins, Oliver Plunket street out at the Christmas sales in Cork City on St. Stephen's Day.. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Brian Murphy , Ballincollig and Chloe Cummins, Oliver Plunket street out at the Christmas sales in Cork City on St. Stephen's Day.. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“We opened Tuesday and it was definitely busier than I thought it was going to be,” said Lisa Grainger, of Olori on Oliver Plunkett Street.

“I think people are still a bit afraid to go out and it has been quieter but I was expecting nothing.”

A similar trend has been seen in the various Kilkenny Shop locations around Cork.

“We’ve definitely been kept busy because we have a 50% sale on. A lot of local customers were in on Monday and a lot of people are coming in with vouchers,” said Douglas Shopping Centre store manager Michelle Creedon.

“We’ve especially seen it in the shopping centre because there’s always someone going in to get their groceries and they’ll pop into us after so there’s been a constant flow and people are in and out quickly.

“Before, it could be so congested and people couldn’t breathe, but there’s a lot more space now.”

Ms Creedon also believes the trend will continue past this weekend.

“The sale is on until January 9 so I think there will be more people in, there always is around New Year’s and people are dying to get out,” she said.

“It’s been lovely though. We’ve had a lot of families in and everyone is in great form and we can actually interact with them.”

Douglas Shopping Centre isn’t the only one that’s been busy this week. However, Blackpool Shopping Centre manager John Hartnett doesn’t expect it to last.

“It’s a different year, but it’s been busy and people are using their own judgement. It’s hard to get the figures right but the first few days have been good. The businesses are tipping away nicely,” he told The Echo.

“It drops off when the children go back to school though. People come in and spend their vouchers and the money they got for Christmas but it’ll die off a bit after today.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more