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Why are Easter eggs already on sale in Irish stores?

Retailers say it’s because some people want them, but are there other reasons?

CHRISTMAS HAD NOT been put to bed yet before some stores began putting Easter eggs on their shelves over the past week or so.

Easter Sunday falls on April Fool’s Day this year meaning that, as of today, it’s 12 weeks away. For some this is far too early to be thinking about Easter.

It’s of course not the first year we’ve seen Easter eggs on the shelves in January but people seem to get annoyed about it every year.

So why do stores do it? According to Tesco, the reason they stock eggs in January is because some customers like buying them that early. A spokesperson for the retailer said:

We stock a small range of Easter eggs in selected stores to cater for customers who prefer to stock up early or to buy them over a period of time to help spread the cost. The full Easter egg range will not be in stores until later this year.

Whether or not there are many customers who like to spread the cost of Easter eggs over a couple of months, some have suggested that stores sell the eggs early so they can drop the price closer to Easter.

EASTER EGGS Easter Eggs are on sale in numerous stores. Source:

So is that the case?

Well, there are rules about how stores can label items as being on sale at a ‘reduced’ price.

In law there is no defined number of days or weeks a product must be sold for before it can be sold for a reduced price , but it is stated that it must be sold at the higher price for a “reasonable time” before it can be reduced.

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The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission says that it considers this “reasonable time” to be 28 days.

Furthermore, it is generally accepted that the sale price can only be displayed as a ‘reduced’ period for the at most same length of time that it was on sale at the higher price.

So for example, if eggs were to be sold ‘on sale’ for six weeks before Easter Sunday they will need to be sold at the higher price from today, 12 weeks out.

Asked whether they had a spokesperson available to speak further about the sale of Easter eggs, Tesco said it would not be commenting beyond the above statement.

Read: Up to €8,000 stolen from Trocaire boxes in Clare church >

Poll: When is it acceptable to start eating Easter eggs? >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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