Black Friday deals failed to give footfall in Dublin city centre a much-needed boost, according to DublinTown.
The business group says retailers generally do one-third of their annual turnover in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
However footfall is around 75% to 80% of what it was when compared to pre-pandemic levels.
Dublin Town chief executive Richard Guiney told Breakfast Business when the COVID-19 numbers go up, footfall goes down.
"Retailers would do, generally, about a third of their annual turnover in the six weeks up to Christmas.
"So it is vital, and if it doesn't happen unfortunately it's pretty bad news for retailers.
"It's not happening as we would like.
"We did get up to the vital 85% of footfall there a number of weeks back, but it fell back when the numbers increased.
"It went from 85%, down to 80% and then back into the 70s unfortunately."
Mr Guiney says the lack of office workers is also hitting the sector hard.
"The other thing that we're really finding as well is the absence of office workers is a real issue for city retailers".
He says this means heavy evening trade, usually seen at this time of year, is "not happening".
'Anxiety for the new year'
And he says the next few weeks are unlikely to see any big change.
"We'd like to see [footfall] improve, but the feeling is that we'll probably be in that 75-80% range which is not where we need to be.
"And I suppose that gives rise to the anxiety as to where we're going to be in the new year: are we going to see closures or how businesses are going to be able to hold it together?"
But he suggests a lack of office workers could leave more space for shoppers during the week.
"There's opportunities Monday to Friday, and I do think that's when we'd like to see more people coming in to get their Christmas shopping done.
"And if you are buying online, buy from a retailer that's supporting Irish jobs.
"That's definitely a very clear message: we want our cities to be vibrant post-pandemic, and the only way to do that is to buy from Irish retailers".