Cham­ber’s €250k re­tail voucher fes­tive boost

New Ross Standard - - NEWS -

MORE than €250,000 in New Ross & Dis­trict Cham­ber of Com­merce Christ­mas vouch­ers are be­ing spent in busi­nesses across the dis­trict af­ter what has been a strong re­tail month.

Cham­ber PRO Lor­can Kin­sella said there was a good foot­fall in New Ross for the five weeks lead­ing up to Christ­mas and on the week­ends since as peo­ple in­creas­ingly looked lo­cal for their Christ­mas and sales shop­ping.

Lor­can said the cham­ber’s busy Nollaig line-up of events at­tracted a lot of peo­ple into the town. ‘ There were voucher sales of €250,000. That is money that is spent di­rectly in New Ross and dis­trict. So any­one who has a cham­ber mem­ber­ship and is on the voucher scheme can spend the money in those out­lets so from that point of view it was very, very pos­i­tive.’

Lor­can said there was a full calendar of events which kicked off on Novem­ber 22 in New Ross. ‘Ev­ery week­end there was an event on, whether it was the mar­ket, or Santa com­ing up the Bar­row and through the town. There was great ex­cite­ment so there was some sort of draw dur­ing Nollaig like when the lights were turned on. There was quite a con­sid­er­able amount of en­ergy and thought that went into or­gan­is­ing all of that.’

Lo­cally the sen­ti­ment was very pos­i­tive from busi­ness own­ers in the run up to Christ­mas, he said. ‘It was very busy, foot­fall wise. There is an onus on our­selves to put more thought into what we have here in New Ross so we re­ally had a solid line-up of events to en­gage in the fam­ily feel­ing of Christ­mas. I think it re­ally worked. A par­tic­u­lar suc­cess was Santa ar­riv­ing and the pa­rade through the town. We had well over 1,000 at that and that’s great for a pro­vin­cial town com­pet­ing with the likes of Water­ford, the big­gest Christ­mas mar­ket in the coun­try and then you have Wex­ford, but I think we held our own in terms of what we wanted to put out.’

When asked if more free park­ing is needed to at­tract peo­ple into the town in the days and weeks be­fore Christ­mas, Lor­can said: ‘Park­ing is al­ways go­ing to be an is­sue. Free park­ing brings peo­ple in but I don’t think it’s a defin­ing fac­tor. We want to get more free park­ing around that time and we will com­mu­ni­cate that as best we can.’

He said events like the Christ­mas Mar­ket, were ad­ver­tised in shops and on­line, adding that ‘ there is al­ways more to do and to do bet­ter’, when it comes to ad­ver­tis­ing events. ‘We are all striv­ing to do it bet­ter and get the word out as we de­velop the New Ross Nollaig brand. It’s an is­sue. If peo­ple aren’t aware of where a lo­ca­tion is let’s look at that. Over­all we had a very pos­i­tive build up to Christ­mas.’

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