Clothes Sales Down, Surgery Sales Up?


Harvey Nichols announced last week that that they'd seen a sharp decline in sales in recent months, and are expecting to see a 40% drop-off in bottom-line profit to £10mSTG. I mean, ten million is still ten million, but the point is, we're not splurging on luxury goods the way we were. And if high-end retailers like Harvey Nicks are hurting, no doubt our own Brown Thomas group is too.

But what we are still very interested in are cosmetic procedures. P-Ken waxed lyrical about the G-Shot on the Late Late the other week, and a recent survey indicated that half a million Dubliners would consider plastic surgery.

Perhaps addressing our own leathery hides is a more appealing prospect these days than handing over the guts of a month's salary for a leathery bag? We're way less likely to throw our hard-earned cash away at just any clinic though, says Aoife Murray of, a healthcare search engine that helps users find and compare tens of thousands of health clinics worldwide. "We are experiencing a rise in Irish visitors", she says, adding that "people are interested in saving money while shopping around for treatment."


RevaHealth's figures indicate that the number of Irish people using the site to contact cosmetic surgery clinics doubled from January to February, so what were they searching for? 22% were interested in rhinoplasty, the ever-popular breast implants accounted for 16% of searches and 11% of users were comparing their options with regard to Botox.

And the other thing we're hugely interested in? Dentistry. We are mad for the teeth, people, mad. The number of people in the Republic of Ireland searching for value-for-money on basic dental treatments up north increased by nearly 75% in February, according to Aoife.  But that's only half the picture - the company have also noted that interest in cosmetic dentistry has decreased by 25%.

So it seems that when times are tough, we still want to take care of our teeth - but the veneers can shag off.

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