Grafton Street more than holding its own

 

Sir, – I refer to the articles “Number of shoppers on Dublin streets drops sharply” and “Fear and loathing on the retail rental hotspot of Grafton Street” (Business, January 31st) which indicate that footfall in Dublin is on the decline.

In retail, figures over the period of one or two weeks do not establish a trend and in isolation can be misleading.

However, a year-long period of footfall figures does indicate a trend.

In 2019, footfall across the city was up by 0.5 per cent and on Grafton Street footfall for the year was up 0.6 per cent.

Dublin city centre enjoyed very positive retail figures for the 2019 Christmas period. Dublin Town members flagship retailers Brown Thomas and Arnott’s noted that sales during the period increased 7 per cent, with other prominent member businesses highlighting similar positive results.

Similarly, over the Black Friday week, footfall increased 12.7 per cent, with Grafton Street reflecting an increase of 3.5 per cent in that week.

Grafton Street’s January 2020 footfall was identical to that of January 2018. Following a fallow two-week period, typical to a post-Christmas January, city footfall experienced an increase of 1.4 per cent in the latter part of the month.

The articles also refer to empty premises on Grafton Street. Our engagement with property owners and incoming tenants, informs us that properties are in the process of being let or refurbished to meet tenant requirements, often undertaken in the less busy January period and would be normal in the trade. Dublin city centre, in line with other city centre retail destinations, experiences a turnover of between 6 per cent and 8 per cent of businesses on an annual basis. – Yours, etc,

RICHARD GUINEY,

Chief Executive,

DublinTown,

Dublin 2.