Winter weather kept Christmas shopping local

Despite difficult trading conditions in the run up to Christmas, the traders in Cahir town centre report they are 'fairly pleased' with the business done in town this festive season.

Despite difficult trading conditions in the run up to Christmas, the traders in Cahir town centre report they are 'fairly pleased' with the business done in town this festive season.

Like some other towns in South Tipperary, people in the Cahir area that may have travelled to larger shopping towns or shopping centres in other years stayed local, because of the freezing weather. They were pleasantly surprised at the value and service on offer.

Speaking to The Nationalist this week John Quirke, a jeweller based on Castle Street in Cahir, said the pre-Christmas snowy weather probably helped local traders a little bit, because people wanted to shop closer to home, and not risk travelling on icy roads.

"People used local shops and we are delighted by that," Mr Quirke said. "We hope people will now realise what's available to them closer to home."

He said that he thinks the difficult economic conditions also make people ore patriotic to their local areas this year.

"Local shops give a good service. We spent a bit on Christmas lights and that helped create a festive atmosphere in the town too," Mr Quirke cited some of the reasons people opted to shop in Cahir.

One of the main attractions for shopping in Cahir this Christmas was the availability of plentiful, free parking in the town centre, thanks to the Castle Car Park being made a free car park over the festive season. Mr Quirke said traders appreciated the gesture from the County Council which allowed this. "That certainly helped," he said.

Another draw for shoppers was the newly opened Aldi store in Cahir. People that came in to town to shop there tended to stay to go to other shops in the town, Mr Quirke said.

"Overall we will be happy to see the back of 2010 and are looking forward to the new year. We appreciate the business of local people. Farmers had a good year in 2010 and that benefitted the town.

"We know next year will be tough but we are trying to be positive. We hope to get more tourists to the town in the new year and we appeal to people to continue the trend of shopping locally."

Mr Quirke said that some sales have already started in the town while other shops are waiting for the new year. There were a lot of special offers over the Christmas period, he added.

"In general we were fairly pleased with the Christmas trade."