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Shoppers flock to Dublin’s retail stores

Some 100 people were in the queue at Grafton Street’s Brown Thomas store when the doors were flung open at 10am.

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Concierge at Brown Thomas department store, Shane Murphy (Cate McCurry/PA)

Concierge at Brown Thomas department store, Shane Murphy (Cate McCurry/PA)

Concierge at Brown Thomas department store, Shane Murphy (Cate McCurry/PA)

Hundreds of shoppers braved the chilly December air to be among the first in line for the reopening of retail stores across Dublin.

Some plucky fans queued at Penneys from 6.30am to grab pyjamas, socks and Christmas stocking fillers.

Staff in non-essential retail stores braced themselves for the Christmas crowds following six weeks of lockdown.

Some 100 people were in the queue at Grafton Street’s Brown Thomas store when the doors were flung open at 10am.

Shane Murphy, concierge at the department store, was there to greet the eager shoppers.

On the north side of the city, long queues formed outside Penneys.

Catherine Kane, from Dublin, arrived at Penneys at 9.30am, after dropping her children at school.

She stocked up on pyjamas, socks and underwear for her children.

“I could only get stuff from click and collect from Dunnes as they blocked the clothes off, so we couldn’t get any socks or underwear,” she said.

“I have a growing teenager, he grows by the week. It was so hard getting stuff during lockdown.

“It’s nice to get out and about again – it’s a bit of therapy. It’s been hard on everybody so we were so excited to be back in shops.

It's just about getting that Christmas feeling and the feeling of walking out of the shops with the bags in your hands - you don't get that onlineSarah Mitchell

“We’re trying to make things as normal as possible for the children this Christmas.

Sarah Mitchell , from Dublin, carried bags filled with nightwear, socks and underwear.

“It was hard to get things like that during lockdown. The kids were still wearing light pyjamas and now it’s getting colder so they needed something warmer,” she said.

“All the shops closed the clothes sections off so we couldn’t get anything and it was hard to get sizes, even online as everything was gone.

“I can survive but the kids are growing and we need to get them things. I’m glad to see it back open again, I was very excited last night thinking about it.

“It’s just about getting that Christmas feeling and the feeling of walking out of the shops with the bags in your hands – you don’t get that online.”

Mark Limby, store director of Brown Thomas Ireland, said they have put further safety measures in place across the departments.

“We are pleased with the reception we have received from our customers so far, it’s been really busy for us,” he added.

“We have been well prepared, we have lots of safety measures in store including our occupancy system which regulates how many people are in the store.

“If people want to come into the store early they can pre-book an appointment.

“We have extended trading hours too. It’s been very difficult while we’ve been closed but we’re expecting to be busy every day.

“We had about several hundred customers in our Dublin store this morning and we have a capacity for 800 people so we were well within that amount.”

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