The majority of retail outlets are expected to open on St Patrick's Day.

A survey by Retail Ireland, the IBEC group representing the retail sector, said that most shopping centres and 70% of businesses would be open on Saturday in an effort to boost sales over the bank holiday weekend.

The group said the fact that St Patrick's Day is on Saturday, which is usually the busiest shopping day of the week, and because it falls the day before Mother's Day, has encouraged many retailers to open.

Group director Stephen Lynam said after a poor start to 2012, retailers especially those in the hardware and DIY sectors, are hoping for a boost in sales this weekend.

However he said the high cost of rents, rates, tax and labour are still causing difficulties and depressing consumer demand.

Retail Ireland is calling for the Government to review VAT returns at the end of this month, and if its targets are not met, to reverse the 2% increase in the tax.

Major stores to close

However there are a number of large shops that will not be opening their doors in Dublin city centre this Saturday.

Among those that will be closed on St Patrick's Day are Arnotts on Henry Street, Clerys on O'Connell Street, Debenhams on Henry Street and the Ilac Shopping Centre.

A spokesperson for Arnotts said that due to the parade taking place on Saturday, there would be no access to its car park, and it would not be practical for the Henry Street store to open.

The spokesperson said that the shop did not usually open on St Patrick's Day.

A spokesperson for Clerys said that historically the shop had not opened on St Patrick's Day due to the parade taking place.

A Debenhams spokesperson said its Henry Street shop would be closed this Saturday due to the closure of public car parks and the lack of people intending to shop on St Patrick’s Day.

The spokesperson said the shop had closed in previous years on St Patrick’s Day.