Alarms were set for early-morning shopping sprees across the country this morning as retailers such as Penneys reopened their doors.
A phased reopening of non-essential retail begins today, with click-and-collect services and in-store shopping by appointment allowed before a wider reopening next week.
Stores welcoming shoppers back on an appointment-only basis today include Penneys, where around 250,000 people have booked in for an appointment this week.
The security guard actually laughed at me, I said ‘oh my god I’m home’
A number of shoppers, who spoke to Newstalk radio, were among the first in the Penneys store in Newbridge, Co Kildare this morning which reopened at 7am.
“Oh I couldn’t even sleep, oh my god. I got up at half five this morning to get here,” one woman said. “Yeah it was really weird, like I didn’t even know myself, it was so long since I was in a shop doing a big shopping sprees. Spent most of my bank account — €165.”
Another woman said: “Absolutely fantastic and hats off to everyone involved, it was so well organised. The security guard actually laughed at me, I said ‘oh my god I’m home’.”
Another shopper reported that the pyjamas area of the shop was “full”.
A fourth said: “It’s more the novelty of it, I actually didn’t need anything – not that you can tell from my bags.
“But you know when you get in you’re just picking up little bits, probably stuff that you don’t even need but you did miss it.”
Duncan Graham, of retail industry trade body Retail Excellence, said retailers across the country are preparing for a busy day with click-and-collect and shopping-by-appointment resuming.
“Appointment-only shopping does give us an opportunity just to ease our way into this in a safe and controlled manner and that’s to be welcomed,” he said.
“I think retailers have only had a couple of weeks to get staff back in store and inducted so that’s a very short space of time and clearly this does give us a little bit of an opportunity to get things up and running quickly.
“I suspect over the next two or three weeks in particular, we’re going to see a very busy time in retail.”