Higher prices in the North and a falling euro against sterling has made the journey across the Border less attractive this year.
And sales have also been boosted by relatively good weather. Last year temperatures had dropped to -15C!
With milder weather for the week coming up to Christmas, retailers are confident that sales will be much higher than 2010.
There has even been an influx of shoppers from the North back into the county with quite a few Derry cars in Letterkenny yesterday.
Marie McKinney, 21, from the city told us: “The shops here have always been more varied than Derry but it just got too expensive the last few years.
“But now we’re getting €1.20 for the pound it makes it much cheaper. The real reason for being here however are things you can get here that you can’t get in Derry.”
Her friend Sharon McDaid agreed. “You wouldn’t go into Next in Letterkenny because we have that (in Derry). But we do go into other shops to look at clothes. After this we’re going to McElhinneys in Ballybofey because we love the clothes there! It’s a bit of a day out.”
Whilst people are being more cautious this year with their spending there is little doubt that towns like Letterkenny, Ballybofey and Donegal Town are having a better Christmas this year.
Car parks were packed over the weekend – and are expected to continue like that right up to Christmas Eve this Saturday.
Stores are being cleverer too – offering huge discounts on a range of goods to attract Christmas shoppers.
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