It's a miracle on 34th Street for Irish shoppers at Macy's in New York
Shoppers flee Irish recession to shop til they drop in Macy's
“All in a day’s shopping,” they laugh as they wave goodbye.
Sisters Maura, Antoinette, and Aine Moran are on a mission in New York -- to shop until they drop. The Mullingar, Co. Westmeath trio have a budget of approximately $1,700 to $2,000 each, and they are determined to spend every last cent.
The sisters decided last May that they were going to start saving, so they don’t have any guilt in splurging. Has the recession affected them personally?
“Just me,” says Maura, an occupational therapist. “My wages have been cut by about €300 or €400 per month because of the pension levy.”
Antoinette, an assistant manager in a crèche, tells the main items on her shopping list. “Ugg boots and good shoes. For example, in Jersey Gardens, I got two pairs of shoes for $110. In Ireland, they would be €120 for one pair. We are really getting good deals, and treating ourselves too.”
Although the recession may not have personally affected her, Aine explains the way it has affected others.
“We have been shopping in New York before, but this time it was different when we told people. They are more jealous and begrudging, and make smart comments about it being well for some going shopping in New York during a recession.”
The sisters got the three flights for €900 and a five night stay in their hotel for $800, and they believe they are still saving money.
“We knew not to buy any clothes since May, so we have definitely got more for our money, and a holiday on top of that,” says Antoinette.
All three bought a new digital camera. And they are completely disenchanted with what they call the “rip-off Republic” at home.
“People are just trying to make ends meet and the prices are still high. Even neighbors of ours from Mullingar are heading up to Enniskillen in Northern Ireland to get their groceries,” says Aine.
The girls have managed to squeeze in Broadway show, ice skating and museum visits, as well as the odd Cosmopolitan into their shopping trip, all while saving money. Not a bad deal.
Margaret Reilly and her daughter Jenny did not wish to be photographed by the Irish Voice. This is because the Kildare mother and daughter team have not told their workmates that they are in New York.
“People are really jealous now that there is a recession and they can’t get what they want,” says Jenny.
An office assistant in Naas, Jenny says this time last year all of her friends were going shopping in New York. “It wasn’t a big deal at all. But now if you say you’re going, people express shock and disbelief that you can afford to, especially in this economy,” she says.
Margaret and Jenny have been shopping in New York every December for the past five years, and don’t intend on breaking the trend.
“If we give ourselves enough notice to save, and we don’t go totally mad, I say why not,” Margaret says.
She says the recession has affected her greatly, therefore her shopping budget this year is one-third of last year’s.
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