Clonmel experienced a significant increase in trading over Christmas with business people in the town expressing optimism for the twelve months ahead on the back of such a positive period.
Brian Cleary, Chief Executive Officer of Clonmel Chamber of Commerce said the business people of the town were very happy with the trade in the build up to Christmas and in the sales that followed.
He said Clonmel received the best possible start to the period with an excellent boost on December 8 which saw the turning on of the Christmas lights in the town and the arrival of Santa.
Trade on the day in the town was 12.3% up on trade on the same day as last year.
“This was a massive boost to the town.
It was the kick-start the town needed to Christmas and that positive trading pattern was maintained over those weeks prior to Christmas and in the sales that followed,” said the CEO of the Clonmel Chamber.
Mr Cleary said that he was speaking to a lot of traders on New Year’s Eve in the town and there was a general feeling of optimism for the twelve months ahead.
“Business people were encouraged by the positive trading picture over Christmas and that has given good reason for optimism for the year ahead,” he said.
“People had it their targets, it was all very positive.
We made a good start on December 8 and never looked back,” said the Chamber CEO
He said that business people in the town had reported back to him that Christmas was better than expected.
“Clonmel has seen an improvement year on year over Christmas which is a very positive sign.
There was a feeling this year among business people that the public were less reluctant to spend as they were in previous years, the public were deciding to spend and live a little rather than put away money for the unexpected in the times ahead,” he said.
Mr Cleary said that the town could build on such a positive trading scene and he was looking forward to a good year for the town.
“Hopefully we will see some movement from the new owners of the Market Place area in 2013 which will bring a good addition to the retail offering in the town,” he said.
He said the purchase of the Market Place units was a massive boost to the town and he hoped that the investors would move to generate jobs and more business activity in the area during 2013.
He described Market Place as an important area for the town as it links the two major car parks in the town and it was important that progress was made in that area.
Mr Cleary said that Clonmel’s strong Christmas trade was part of an improved trading situation in urban areas across the country.
Retailers throughout the country say the past weekend has been the busiest shopping period in the last five years.
Mild weather and improved consumer confidence were among the reasons for the increase.
Retail Excellence Ireland says December got off to a slow start for retailers but picked up dramatically this weekend mainly due to early sales and discount promotions.
The figures were up for the sales of footwear, menswear and DIY goods.
More Christmas trees were sold this year compared to last year too. The top selling gifts were electronics and gadgets with some retailers reporting a one thousand per cent increase in the demand for tablets.