The energy crisis promises to take the shine off Christmas shopping

Ireland’s streets could be darker and bleak in the run up to Christmas this year as businesses grapple with a growing energy crisis.

Business owners described how energy bills had doubled or even tripled and outlined a number of contingency plans.

Retailers communicated that Sunday independent They feared being put out of business if energy costs are not capped soon.

Switching off the lights in shop windows after closing time was just one of the measures retailers could take – but they would do everything they could not to reduce opening hours, according to Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence Ireland.

“Leaving the window lights on after closing time is something that many stores will move away from. In the run up to Christmas the streets will definitely look a lot darker.”

He fears retailers struggling with tight margins and the fallout from Covid may find the energy crisis fatal.

“This could lead to some closures of shops that have been on the brink during Covid. I now get a lot of inquiries from retailers. It’s been building all summer — and now it’s reaching a crescendo,” he said.

Manufacturers are worried about rising energy prices – but they also fear possible winter blackouts that would affect production.

Wavin Ireland Country Director Michael O’Donohoe said he plans to ramp up production at its Balbriggan plant as much as possible in September – to build up stocks in the event of further increases in costs or outages.

And in Monaghan, Combilift chief executive Martin McVicar said he had bought two diesel generators because of potential failures, with a third still under negotiation – each costing €100,000. The energy crisis promises to take the shine off Christmas shopping

Fry Electronics Team

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