People are queueing outside shops across the country to stock up on last-minute food and gifts ahead of both Christmas Eve and renewed Covid-19 restrictions.
In just over 24 hours, restaurants, gastropubs and hairdressers will close their doors under a Level 5 lockdown.
However, unlike previous lockdowns at this level, non-essential retailers will remain open.
In Dublin, Dunnes Stores in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre saw long queues Wednesday morning as people waited over an hour to enter with no more than 250 people allowed in the store at a time.
FYI the queue for Dunnes in Blanchardstown is now outside in the carpark under the covered walked way. It is still over an hour long. It is freezing out. Abandon plans if you can or go to Aldi as there is no queue there, yet.Advertisement
— Melanie May (@_melaniemay) December 23, 2020
Queues were also seen in Rathmines, with staff said this was normal for the time of year and customers were not panic-buying.
— Richard Moore (@Moorerichardpr) December 22, 2020
In Cork, shoppers faced a wait of at least 45 minutes to enter another Dunnes Stores in Blackpool Shopping Centre.
The queue to get into Dunnes in Blackpool is the entire length of the shopping centre. At least 45 minutes to get in. pic.twitter.com/X63f1vFHkv
— Ronan Bagnall (@ronanbagnall) December 23, 2020
Elsewhere in Ireland, people have been queueing outside in the rain for jewellery shops and butchers, while roads are set to get busier this afternoon as people leave the cities.
Although non-essential retailers will remain open tomorrow as other businesses shut their doors, January sales will be smaller and take place in a more controlled fashion.
Managing Director of Retail Excellence Ireland, Duncan Graham, said sales will not be promoted in the same way as previous years and he expects a lot of transactions to move online.
“We’ll have some discounts in stores that have been apparent during the run up to Christmas and beyond, but I don’t think we’re going to see perhaps the heavy discounts... that we’ve seen in the past,” he said.
“I don’t think we’re going to see retailers sticking large sale banners in windows.
“At some point, we will need to clear out of Autumn/Winter stock, in order to make way for the new Spring/Summer stock that will come through for 2021,” he added.
“We’ll need to action further discounts in order to clear that product. Ideally, we’ll clear quite a bit of that online.”