Businesses hoping for busy post-Christmas sales season

Businesses across South Tipperary are heading into the new year with a positive attitude to trading, following an 'up and down' Christmas season.

Businesses across South Tipperary are heading into the new year with a positive attitude to trading, following an 'up and down' Christmas season.

A combination of the freezing weather and the recessionary climate affected shopping in the main towns before Christmas, but the post-Christmas thaw and bargains in many stores has brought people out to spend this week.

Clonmel was described as "buzzing" with shoppers in hunt of a bargain this week, according to CEO of Clonmel Chamber, Brian Cleary. "After Christmas the town was very busy, a lot of shops are doing fantastic sales," he said.

Snowy weather before Christmas had some advantages to traders in Clonmel, he added. Because people didn't want to travel long distance to places like Kildare Village or Mahon Point they shopped local. Local shops also benefited from people who decided not to shop online, in case the freezing weather prevented items being delivered by post.

"Clonmel has such a selection of shops people don't need to go outside the town," Mr Cleary said, predicting that it will get even better in the new year.

In Carrick on Suir traders are also concentrating on the positives of post-Christmas sales, although they are smarting from poor pre-Christmas trading.

Seamus Campbell, of the Carrick on Suir Business Association, told The Nationalist that the weather had a huge affect on shoppers before Christmas. Another "huge problem" in the town, he said, were roadworks two weeks before Christmas. "It was a disaster for business and something that shouldn't happen again in the future."

Most sales in the town began yesterday, Wednesday, and traders were hoping for a good turnout of shoppers. "There is brilliant value in all the sales around the town," Mr Campbell said, adding that he hopes people will make up for not being able to get out and about earlier in the month by going out to the shops now.

Trading hours before Christmas were effectively tightened, with quiet mornings and people heading home before the evening freeze set in, according to Cashel businessman Raymond Davern.

Mr Davern, who manages Davern's, of Main Street Cashel, said that the snow at the start of December did stop people travelling in to town, as they heeded the advice to stay off the roads, but in the days before Christmas, when people realised county Tipperary was not as badly hit as some other counties, they did move around.

Davern's reopened on Tuesday, with a sale, and reported "extremely busy" trading on Tuesday, thanks to good value and bargains bringing in customers.

"If you have good quality at good value people will buy. People are taking a more sensible approach," Mr Davern said. He went on to say he hopes people will make up for the shopping they didn't do before Christmas but in practical terms thinks traders will get only a bit of that business back.