Hectic festive shopping sets the tills ringing
wexford town businesses are recording their busiest festive shopping season in years, with reports from across the county that the shopping season is in full swing and getting back to pre-recession levels.
Wexford Chamber of Commerce President Madeleine Quirke said: 'The shopping season is well under way. It's going extremely well with footfall well up.'
Ms Quirke said the switching on of the Christmas lights in Wexford's towns ignited a shopping splurge, kick-starting the shopping season. Combined with Black Friday sales, there has been a notable rise in purchases.
'The switching on of the lights has certainly had a positive effect on retail spending in Wexford. Wexford town is buzzing and there is a very good atmosphere. The town has very few empty shops and all the business owners have prepared their shops very well, giving people great choices. There is also great value for money.'
A Retail Ireland report released in November anticipated a 3.5 per cent increase in consumer spending this December compared with last year's figure. Ms Quirke said with the large increase in footfall from shoppers in the county's shops - buoyed by the government's positive budget pronouncements - business owners are anticipating a great season.
Ms Quirke said the arrival of TK Maxx in Wexford has benefited all businesses, adding that several shops - both large and small - have opened in recent months, adding to the town's retail offering.
'A lot of families are coming into Wexford now as it has a reputation as the shopping destination in the South East. That hasn't just happened. Wexford has always been synonymous with shopping, be it for clothes or general shopping, but now everything you need is available in Wexford. It has as good a product range as one of the shopping centres and I think that Wexford retailers have put the effort in to ensure that it is simply the best town to shop in this Christmas. The increasing number of shoppers visiting Wexford and surroundnig areas is an enormous complement to local business people.'
This year Wexford Chamber of Commerce sold more than €45,000 in Christmas shopping vouchers for the town, which is way up on recent years, while Christmas shopping voucher schemes across the county have grown significantly year on year. Ms Quirke said Wexford has become a better shopping destination, meaning people can now shop local instead of having to travel long distances for their Christmas shopping.