NEWS

No festive boom - but Donegal traders happy

Sales up across the county

Matt Britton

Reporter:

Matt Britton

Email:

Editorial@donegaldemocrat.com

No festive boom - but Donegal traders happy

Business and shop owners across the commercial sector in Donegal have expressed a high level of satisfaction with Christmas trade.

Business owners said that while there may not have been a festive boom, business was very consistent with sales up in practically all cases.
Ruth Callaghan of McElhinney's Stores in Ballybofey said they were delighted with their performance throughout the festive season, both online and instore.
“Despite reports in national media that towns in cross border areas were experiencing leakage to cross border centres, we have not seen any evidence of this,” she said.
“Our traditional sale has got off to a tremendous start and we are looking forward to yet another good year.”
Stephen Harron of Magee of Donegal echoed similar sentiments saying business was consistent the whole way through December. He is predicting an increase on last year’s figures with web activity also showing a marked increase.
Meanwhile Tom Clarke of EJ's in Sligo, which has a large client base in Donegal, also reported busy trade.
“It was one of our best Christmasses to date with increases both online and instore,” he said.
Mr. Clarke did however, issue a word of caution. “Multinational companies have been using the concepts of Black Friday and similar promotions as a great marketing play.
“However, they continue it the whole way through the month diluting the prices. People have now come to expect a sale practically every week.
“This is something that will have to be looked at long term by both large and small retailers as businesses have to remain sustainable.”
Other traders throughout the county were all singing off the same hymn sheet, reporting a very consistent trading period
Crona Bonner of The Cope in Dungloe said: “We have a very wide catchment area in the Rosses and a very loyal customer base.
“We have also found that many who have returned home for holidays have done their Christmas shopping at home.”
As Michael Murphy prepares to face into another season on the pitch, he was happy to report that Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure store in Letterkenny had their best Christmas to date.
“The launch of the new Donegal kit has been a big boost but it has been very steady the whole way through,” he said.
“Our sale has just started which is another bit of a boost. I have to thank our customers - they have just all been great.”
Raymond Rooney of the Business Group in Donegal town said the Black Friday and Shopping Spree weekends gave local outlets a great boost.
“It steadied off for about the next ten days and peaked again last weekend,” he said.
“Overall our members have been happy but we all have to be aware that we are all going to have to embrace the concept of online.
“There still will be a very large percentage of customers who just love the in-store shopping experience. It’s all about maintaining the balance.”