In Letterkenny, the mass return to the car parks of Northern-registered cars isn’t making headlines on the RTE News the way the mass exodus from here to the North did two years ago.
But chief executive of Letterkenny Chamber Toni Forrester says it should.
“Sterling take is definitely increasing particularly over the last few weeks.
As the holidays started obviously there are more visitors but they are now
starting to spend,” she said.
“While many use cards to shop one retailer reported just today that sterling cash take was up 30% in July compared to 2011 and up 70% against 2010.
“Others are reporting that they are seeing shoppers coming in coaches from across Donegal and, for the first time in a number of years, from Northern Ireland. People seem to be re-discovering Letterkenny and getting excellent value.”
The majority of independent retailers are offering exchange rates of
£1=€1.25 and some are giving even more and they are seeing a marked increase
in sterling shoppers, she said.
The retail leader said: “The other aspect that is important to Letterkenny is that local people are seeing excellent value as well.
“We had said from early summer that sterling shoppers coming back would be a bonus but that the real result for retailers here is that people stay in Donegal to shop and get back into the habit of staying local. With Letterkenny being Donegal’s Shopping Centre we would hope to feel the benefit.
“The timing couldn’t have been better as this year the Town Council are
funding a marketing campaign in partnership with Letterkenny Chamber and its
ShopLK initiative. So we have seen a billboard campaign, UTV ad, radio
campaigns and lots of other activities to keep reminding people of the
choice and value available in Letterkenny.”