RETAILERS in Dundalk have been left "satisfied overall" with the amount of sales they achieved over the Christmas season.
Many shop owners awaited the season with apprehension, worried that the recession might damage sales, according to the Town Centre Commercial Manager's (TCCM) office.
"The bad weather, however, proved to be a positive as well as a negative for Dundalk. Retailers found the beginning of December to be extremely quiet," said the TCCM office in a statement.
"Yet as the month progressed Dundalk saw a growth in sales as the town became more accessible to customers."
The TCCM office added that many retailers in the town saw a lot of sterling come into their stores. Harvey Norman's in particular took in more sterling than euro over Christmas.
"This is a stark contrast to last Christmas where the people of Dundalk went up North for their Christmas shopping."
Marshes Shopping Centre Manager Harry Traynor said: "The gap in product costs has closed considerably in the latter part of 2010, leaving it less beneficial to travel up North. We have noted a lift in Northern business but this is limited to stores that will accept sterling. We need to be able to service the community who choose to shop with us."
Many retailers in the town said that they have a number of loyal Northern customers who they've done business with for years.
Gerry Mcgarrell-Hillion who owns Miro shoe shop and Kate English at Pulse Pacemaker are among these retailers.
Kate said: "Dundalk is unique in that it has a lot more independent shops to offer than most towns. This makes it a better place to shop, but I believe it may well be Dundalk's best kept secret. This should be marketed more in my opinion."
Most of the stores in the town are doing their utmost to ensure that customers are getting the best possible value for money and have established a more competitive approach to selling.
Dundalk Town Centre Commercial Manager's office have the Nice One! Gift card promotion up and running and over 100 stores in the town have opted into this scheme.
The aim of the card is to encourage people to shop locally. Nice One! gift cards can only be used in Dundalk with over 100 members joined and is a way to keep business in the town of Dundalk.
The card can be bought at the TCCM Office in Market Square as well as a number of other stores in the town. Visit www.niceonedundalk.ie for more information.