Chilling news for retailers
by matt Britton
A combination of the freezing cold weather and the after effects of a crippling budget could see pre-Christmas retail sales slump to an all time low.
Retailers in the county have been expecting a bit of a surge after enduring almost two weeks of Arctic like conditions will be disappointed when they read the recent forecast by leading bookmakers Paddy Power.
Many do not need to be reminded that it was the same bookmaker's that predicted a 40% landslide for Pearse Doherty along with the Donegal Democrat in the recent by-election.
The bookmakers are quoting 11/8 that retail sales for the Christmas month in Ireland will fall anywhere between 6% and 9% when compared to December 2009.
That is a further significant drop on last year's figures from the CSO which showed a 12.5% decline in December compared to the previous 2008.
In fact, the high street could be in for the frostiest reception of their lives with the odds on sales plummeting by as much as 12% just 4/1!
However it's not all doom and gloom. While Irish retail sales are nose-diving, people are staying at home and shopping from the comfort of their own homes with online shopping showing an overall boom.
Shrewd consumers nationwide are opting to do their Christmas shopping online rather than venturing outside in the sub-zero temperatures to traipse around shops! Not only are there online bargains to be snapped up but people can shop from the comfort of their sofa!
The shrewdest of all however are patient who awaiting the sales either pre or post-Christmas where it is anticipated that bargains will be at record levels this year.
Sharon McHugh, spokesperson for Paddy Power said: "The whole of Ireland has been bracing themselves for a tough budget so people will be a lot cleverer when it comes to spending.
"Retailers will be hoping for a last minute dash and grab but given the current economic climate and difficulties facing the public they could be left waiting!"