Shoppers ready to hit the sales

Shoppers are expected to storm the high streets today, as many stores open their doors for the St Stephens' Day sales.

According to Retail Excellence Ireland, last Saturday was the busiest day for retail sales in over five years, providing a much-needed boost for the sector.

The Crafts Council of Ireland confirmed that this Christmas saw an increase in the demand for Irish-made gifts.

It would also seem that the tide is turning regarding cross-border shopping, with more and more consumers from the North travelling south to shop because of a good exchange rate.

Retail Excellence Ireland said this spells good news for traders who can kick-start 2013 on a positive note.

Meanwhile, Crosscare has issued its now annual unwanted-gifts appeal.

Anybody who has received unwanted gifts this Christmas is being asked to leave them beside the crib at Dublin's Pro-Cathedral.

The presents are distributed to homeless people and residential projects.

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