Eight in ten Limerick City retailers have seen trade rise

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

City Business Association chair Helen O'Donnell: 'The survey is in line with our expectations'
MORE than eight in ten retailers in the city have noticed an increase in trade this Christmas, a new survey has shown.

MORE than eight in ten retailers in the city have noticed an increase in trade this Christmas, a new survey has shown.

And a special post office set up to deliver letters to Santa Claus himself has had more than 7,000 customers since it opened last month.

The Limerick City Business Association carried out a snap survey of 90 shops across the urban area.

And of the almost half that had responded by this Wednesday, they found that 85% of retailers reported an upsurge in trade.

There is further good news, with almost a half of those asked estimating their business could be up by as much as 20% year-on-year.

The survey was carried out by the Limerick City Business Association, with an email questionnaire sent to 90 retailers as the Christmas shopping season kicked in.

Chairperson of the Limerick City Business Association Helen O’Donnell said the results were in line with expectations – and could be even more impressive come the weekend if more companies respond.

“There is quite a buzz in Limerick this Christmas and we do get a sense that the vast majority of businesses are experiencing an upswing but there are still some businesses that are on the margins, though we hope they will get a boost in the run in.”

She admitted the association would have liked to have seen more responses, with many retailers stating they are too busy to fill in the questionnaire.

Helen says this is a good thing, and added: “The survey emails were sent out ten days ago and we are now in the busiest shopping days of the year and very much looking forward now to the final week. A huge effort has been put into making the city attractive for shoppers and, particularly, children this Christmas and it is working.”

As part of the survey, companies were also asked if they felt investment from the local authority for Christmas was having an effect on trade, with 85% saying yes. As part of Limerick’s Christmas celebrations - which drew a crowd of up to 12,000 to see the turning on of the lights - a number of pop-up shops have been set up.

This includes the North Pole post office at the corner of O’Connell Street and Thomas Street - with a number of elves working in the store.

So far, 7,000 letters have been processed, with two other outlets set up for Christmas also proving popular.

Meanwhile, the renaissance of Cruises Street is continuing, with the thoroughfare set to get another shop.

Silver Wood, which had been trading at William Street, has moved to the pedestrianised street. It joins Costa Coffee, which recently opened at the old HMV building, with Danish retail chain Tiger to open in February.

Cruises Street was the hardest hit area of the city during the recession, with HMV, Wallis, Evan’s and Heirlooms closing, leading to fears it would become a ghost street.