Was in a shop of someone I know on Monday at closing time just before flying out. closed off the till for the day -€31 for the day, i.e. 31 euro more was in the till in the morning than when closing that evening; that's how poor trade is down the country.
Plenty of window shoppers, few parting with cash as they don't have it to spend.
Don't look for the shoppers, look for the shopping bags.
I've been doing a bit of research on setting up a 'youthclub' or activities for kids and in my reading I came across the Department of Health and Children publication on 'Teenspace - The National Policy for Recreation for Young People' (PDF)
. It's an interesting read, but one thing really jumped out at me.
Shopping is a popular recreational activity for many young people, especially girls. Girls strongly ‘peer orientate’ or form and maintain friendship groups or cliques on the basis of a shared appreciation of clothes, as well as music and personal qualities. This may be one factor explaining girls’ high frequency in this activity (Thurlow, 2002). Looking at shops was valued by young girls for a number of reasons, including ‘it’s great to see new clothes’, ‘we like thinking about how to spend money’, ‘it’s fun with your friends’ and ‘it’s in the city’.
See those shopping centres? They're actually 'recreational facilities'.