NON-ESSENTIAL retailers across Limerick re-opened this Tuesday morning as Ireland moved back to level 3 measures in the run-up to Christmas.
There is relief among small traders that they are able to trade in the run-up to Christmas, with Chris O'Sullivan, Nevil's Shoes, describing the next three weeks as "vital".
"So much is being put on this month of December to turn this stock into cash. People have been calling wishing me good luck. We need to turn these into clicks and buys," she urged.
Lockdown, she said has been "incredible" tough, she added, saying: "We bought all this stock in January when we knew nothing about Covid-19. When Covid-19 was another country. It was like a tsunami in another world that wasn't going to hit us. Then suddenly, we are in the middle of it. We bought our stock for a normal season, so we are left with a fridge full of food and no-one to eat it."
Most traders threw open their doors at nine o'clock this Tuesday morning, and were delighted to welcome back regular customers.
David Hanlon-Kelly, at Sextons for Men, said: "It's fantastic to be back in the store again. Long may it last! Hopefully we won't be seeing another lockdown this side of Christmas. It's exciting to see the Christmas trade coming in and hopefully we will have a busy three weeks ahead where we can offer the best we can to the customers."
Donal O'Connell of O'Connell's Menswear in Catherine Street added: "It's great to see a bit of life in the city. We're just very grateful to see Limerick people coming out and supporting local business. The next few weeks are so important. Hopefully people will continue to come out."