Stampede to grab €900 bags at BT


SHOPPERS IN Dublin made up for lost time yesterday as Brown Thomas on Grafton Street opened its doors for the start of its winter sale at 9am – 24 hours late.

Within minutes Miu Miu handbags, circa €900 a pop, were being whisked off to new homes and the accessories department – read handbag department – was thronged with women seeking that 50-per-cent-off dream purchase.

The store had to postpone the opening of its sale after a malfunctioning sprinkler system on the second floor had flooded and damaged a significant proportion of the ceilings and floors over the second, first and ground floors.

Managing director Stephen Sealey said his staff had been brilliant and had worked through Sunday night into yesterday morning to clean up, while contractors had been magnificent in completing a job that could have taken a week, in 24 hours.

Ceilings had to be repaired, temporary lighting installed and new carpets laid to ensure the whole store opened at 9am. It appeared totally unblemished by the experience. Mr Sealey described a “stampede” for the handbags when the doors opened yesterday, and said one table of Miu Miu handbags was stripped bare in 30 seconds.

By lunchtime the store was uncomfortably busy, with hundreds of people, mainly women, inspecting DKNY handbags down from €234 to €140.40 and Alexander Wang leather bags reduced from €860 to €516.

One woman expressed her disappointment that a €1,200 Miu Miu handbag was not in the sale. “It is this season but the woman said it’s being ‘carried forward’,” she frowned to her companion.

The ladies’ shoe department was busier than Dublin airport’s departures floor and there were queues of up to half an hour for a changing room on some floors.

Outside, those clutching the signature carrier bags declared themselves not really disappointed the store had to postpone its sale. Evelyn Murray, from Dublin, was carrying two large BT bags, having bought cosmetic bags and a handbag. “The handbag I wanted wasn’t reduced, so I’m a bit sad about that. I wouldn’t have come in anyway on St Stephen’s Day. It’s not a day for shopping.”