Christmas Market's return offers festive hope
There are early indications that the Continental Christmas Market at the City Hall in Belfast has returned this year with a new dynamism, despite the bad effects of last year's untimely Union flag dispute, which disrupted so much of the business at the heart of the city.
On the other hand, another survey has shown that local traders might be facing an even tougher Christmas this year. This apparent paradox may well be providing its own lesson – namely that those who go to extra lengths to tempt the customer, will end up with a greater share of the profits. No-one is promised an easy time this Christmas but clearly it may be a case where good fortune favours the commercially brave.