Retail Excellence Ireland has reported that sales for this weekend, the last before Christmas, showed the first increase in five years. While shopping was as “manic” as originally predicted, retail was “productive.” reports on Retail Excellence Ireland’s analysis of the final weekend before Christmas.

REI said several factors went into the jump in sales - increased consumer confidence following Budget 2013, mild weather before Christmas, Christmas falling on a Tuesday this year, and an increase of Northern Irish shoppers coming to the Republic to do some spending.

While sales were strong, REI did add that trading wasn’t as “manic” as predicted. Saturday was being projected to be the busiest trading day in the past five years, but stores were able to keep up with consumer demand.

Unfortunately, retailers did also report that shoplifting was also noticeably higher than in recent years.

“The overall feeling is that the Budget at the beginning of the month had a very temporary effect and people quickly acclimated to that, determined that it would not spoil their Christmas,” said REI.

“The migration of spend on-line and the entry to the market by the grocery multiples have left the specialists with less market share to enjoy,” noted REI.

Dublin's Grafton Street - retail figures on the upGoogle Images