In a recent article, consumer affairs journalist Conor Pope estimated that households in this country on average will spend a whopping €2,000 each this Christmas. His estimation is more than double the €966 predicted by Deloitte.
Whichever figure is closer to the mark, a huge amount of money will be spent over the next four weeks. Imagine what a boost this spend would be for Galway, if it was spent in Galway? If we all decide to ‘Spend Christmas in Galway’, it would make an enormous difference to retail here this festive season.
The last number of years have been very difficult for retailers. The height of the boom in 2006 is a dim and distant memory and, particularly in the last few years, the shopping public has been cautious. Successive harsh budgets have succeeded in frightening people in regard to spending, and people have put off their purchasing because they are afraid of what’s around the corner, be it tax hikes, extra charges, pay cuts etc.
This has had a serious impact on retailers, who themselves are facing extra issues, including commercial rates, employers’ PRSI and high rents.
Galway Chamber has, for many years, appealed to the shopping public to spend their money in Galway prior to Christmas and in the New Year. We would go even further and suggest that everyone encourages their family and friends to come and spend the festive season in Galway.
- Galway is a great place to shop;
- Galway is a special Christmas shopping experience;
- Galway has everything to make the season great; you don’t need to go anywhere else;
- Business in Galway needs your support;
- Shopping in Galway will create jobs and will save some that are at risk.
An added dimension at this time of year is the Christmas Market in Eyre Square. Opening on Friday for its third season, it will attract extra shoppers to Galway, who will then visit other retail outlets, including the traditional market at St Nicholas’. Some people will decide to eat, drink and stay in Galway, which will all go to benefit the local economy.
The quality and value available in Galway right now is unparalleled, as is the ambience that is so important to visitors. This is something that cannot be manufactured; it’s what makes Galway special.
However, in order to nurture this, we all need to play our part. Each one of us can decide to spend whatever we are going to spend, however large or small the amount, right here in Galway. In doing so, we will showcase our city, we will help our retail sector and we will boost our general economy. It’s a simple plan; let’s make it work!