BUSINESS: Letterkenny Chamber Chief Executive Toni Forrester has eased fears many border businesses may hold regarding the Brexit decision last month.
With growing uncertainty over the consequences of the UK’s decision to leave the EU – Forrester has told traders to remain calm.
According to Forrester, despite the news of Brexit and the subsequent weakening of sterling – Letterkenny traders are keen to encourage their customers to continue shopping in Letterkenny this summer.
Toni Forrester, Chief Executive, Letterkenny Chamber told Donegal Daily “The Brexit result came as a shock to everyone involved not least those campaigning for it and it was well recognised that it would have an effect on sterling” explains
“However such a large drop in the currency so quickly took most by surprise.
“A few weeks in and it has stabilised a little but we hope that as the UK political scene calms there might be more stability to come and a strengthening of sterling as a result.
“Speaking to retailers over the past week and looking at the various car parks, reports of people “flocking” over the border are greatly exaggerated.
Most shops are still in summer sale mode and goods in all sectors including grocery are still at great prices in comparison to the North.
“As a border town we have always been used to the swings and roundabouts of the currency and have weathered the storm on many occasions but recently we had been enjoying a prolonged period of the exchange rate working in the favour of Letterkenny.
“It is interesting to look back. It was in the summer of 2014 that we started our big pink campaign to advertise £1=€1.25.
“It took a bit of time but as sterling strengthened through 2015 we started to see more customers staying here to shop and coming from Northern Ireland to Letterkenny on a more regular basis and we know that when they came they liked what was available.
“This last two years has certainly given our retail trade a boost but the most important element was that local people from around the County started to spend their hard earned money in Letterkenny and we hope that our retail product in Letterkenny will encourage them to stay.
“Prices across Letterkenny are very keen and the independent retailers can adjust to currency changes quickly and many have reported that they will get excellent value as they buy their Autumn and Winter stock and will pass this on to their customers.
“So the value wrapped up with the convenience of coming into, parking and shopping in Letterkenny makes it still the perfect choice for your regular shopping.”
“Convenience and access are some of the main determinants of town centre shopping and Letterkenny is still a town with a small city feel.
“There are over 3000 low cost or FREE parking spaces all within easy access of the shopping areas.
“There is still 30 minutes free parking on the main street, just park and go, no need for a ticket.
“The nearby pay and display car parks offer very reasonable rates for up to 3 hours. The Retail Parks and Letterkenny Shopping Centre both offer free parking and both are within walking distance of the Main Street.
“So Letterkenny is still a busy town despite the Brexit and currency changes. The value and choice is still available and we know the prices of many goods can match those across the border.”Tags: