Independents in the Republic of Ireland have enjoyed a welcome boost after a period of warm, sunny weather lifted footfall and kick-started sales of summer stock.
Galvin Tullamore, Co.Offaly
Temperatures have reached highs of 23 degrees over the past couple of weeks, and many independent retailers across the country told Drapers trade has improved.
“Business has really picked up over the last two weeks as the weather has warmed up; we are 14% ahead of last year,” said Paul Galvin, owner at Drapers Independent Award-winning premium menswear shop Galvin Tullamore in Tullamore, Co. Offaly. “More people are out and about and in good form so it is busy.”
Wayne Greene-Salm, owner of menswear indie Salingers in Cork, agreed: “We had the worst winter followed by storms into spring, so business started badly this year, but now that we’ve had nice weather people are spending more.”
Katherine O’Dwyer, co-owner of womenswear boutique Emporium Kalu in Naas, Co. Kildare, said: “Business has definitely lifted and we have started to see good consistency over the past few weeks. Before it was up and down, with busy and quiet days.”
O’Dwyer added that shoppers are buying fewer items but at higher price points: “People would rather spend their money one or two beautiful high quality key pieces that last and look and feel good.”
Galvin echoed this: “Customers are more focused on quality instead of worrying about price, showing growing customer confidence over the last 18 months.”
However, Aoife Myler-Herlihy, owner of womenswear store Moda in Mallow, Co. Cork, said shoppers are still looking for a bargain: “We have started to bring in stock sooner and therefore go on Sale earlier to meet customer demands. Big Sale events like Black Friday encourage shoppers to get deals sooner.”
She added: “I think [competition from] online is definitely making it more difficult, even though we have a website. People’s perceptions of boutiques is that they are too expensive, but actually our prices are very competitive with shops on the high street.”