EARLY indicators are pointing towards a good season for retailers in Carrickmacross and Castleblayney, with shoppers turning out in their hundreds in both towns to bag bargains and partake in the seasonal atmosphere.
Following a difficult Christmas period last year, there were fears that it could be another quiet season for retailers in both towns. Yet so far business has been brisk in what is a make-or break-time of year for retailers.
“It’s been good so far,” said President of Carrickmacross Chamber of Commerce Jim Hand, speaking on Thursday. “All the signs are there that is has been a good season so far.
“I haven’t been around to all the local business people, but the ones I have talked to have been very positive. People are respounding to the great value that can be had here in Carrickmacross. People realise that with exchange rate between Sterling and Euro it no longer makes sense to go North.
“There has been a great buzz around the town and a great atmosphere right across from Christmas Eve and coming up to New Year’s.”
A relatively mild late December has also made both towns fully accessible, banishing from the mind the below freezing conditions of last Christmas, which left many people unable to leave their homes.
Mayor of Carrickmacross Noel Keelan said: “It’s great to see that people are choosing to stay in Carrickmacross and support their local shops and help promote the local economy.
“Retailers have had a difficult time in the last few years, but they have kept competitive and the community have responded to that.”
Local councillor and Treasurer of Castleblayney Chamber of Commerce David Funcheon, says that sales have been very strong in the town.
“I was talking to local traders and they have been very positive about the season. As I understand it the drapery and the off-licenes have done particularly well due to the exchange rate.
“I think retailers were expecting another tough season, and as result people have been very grateful and happy with the relatively good turn out. There has also been a great buzz about the town, and I know many shops have taken an extended break this week and will be gearing up for the official January sales.”