A WEEK into the post-Christmas sales, the best of the bargains have been snapped up, with children’s wear and electronic goods - particularly tablets - proving especially popular among Limerick shoppers.
“I would have to say tablets were the biggest seller,” explained Geraldine Kelly, manager of the Shannon branch of Sean Hennessy Electrical Superstores which have stores in Newcastle West, Rathkeale and Mallow.
“Out of every second person’s mouth was tablets. They didn’t sell as big last year. This year was the year for tablets”.
A tablet computer, or simply tablet, is a one-piece mobile computer, primarily operated by touchscreen removing the need for the physical hardware components necessary for a desktop or laptop computer.
According to Ms Kelly “every kind of a tablet sold this year.”
“Samsung were doing a great deal - they were doing the tablets for €350 and then people could claim €50 back on the 10 inch tablet, so effectively they were buying them for €299. That was pre-Christmas but in the sale everything obviously has dropped in price - the Toshiba was €399 and is now down to €349 and the ones that were €129 are now down to €99.”
As is tradition, St Stephen’s morning saw many budget-conscious shoppers give up their beauty sleep for the sake of the sales.
In the region of 400 people braved the bitter chill to line up outside Next at Childers Road Retail Park where all of last season’s stock was marked down to half price or less.
As the clocks struck 6am, shoppers did not all scurry through the doors at once – in the interest of health and safety it was decided that customers would enter the store in smaller groups.
“I was here at 4.15am and there was a good few queuing at the door at that stage,” said Sinead Forde, store manager.
“We were very lucky it did stay dry until about half nine when it started to rain but everyone was in at that stage. We were blessed with the weather. It was busy. We are happy with the figures”.
Most of the items of course have been snapped up by now with children’s wear proving very popular once again.
“It always does well,” said Ms Forde.
While tills was ringing nicely in the final run up to Christmas and in the days after, according to Michael Gleeson of Michael Gleeson Shoes on William Street, the month of December was quieter than usual.
“I have to say we have found business to be quite difficult. Of course we had a busy run around Christmas but the whole month of December was very difficult,” said Mr Gleeson.
“Money seemed to have been quite scare in the run up to Christmas but it did improve in the last few days which we were very pleased about. I just thought the run up to Christmas was slow getting going.”
The sales, he said, reinvigorated shoppers but a week done the line and the spending surge is starting to wane.
“There is still momentum in the sales but we can see now that the money is about to run out. We are hoping for the best for the coming year. I am cautiously optimistic,” he said.
See this weekend’s Limerick Leader for more pictures from the sales in Limerick.