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Cross-border shopping hits five-year high as ROI consumers spend €64.5m in North

The strength of the Euro against Sterling over the past two years has also made cross-border shopping more appealing.

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Image: Shutterstock/Minerva Studio

SHOPPERS FROM THE Republic of Ireland have spent €64.5 million on groceries in Northern Ireland over the past 12 months, the highest level in five years. 

The latest Kantar Worldpanel supermarket shares show that over the 12 months to 4 November 2018, just over one in eight households from the Republic of Ireland made at least one trip across the border to do a grocery shop. 

This equates to more than 207,000 shoppers. 

Alcohol is the biggest attraction for shoppers looking for a cross-border bargain, according to Kantar. 

“Of the €65 million spent by Republic of Ireland shoppers in Northern Ireland over the past year, a quarter went on alcohol, adding up to just over €16 million. No other food or drink category comes close, with dairy products accounting for the next largest share of cross-border spend at 5.9%,” Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar said. 

The strength of the Euro against Sterling over the past two years has also made cross-border shopping more appealing, but there have been benefits for those spending in the Republic too, Kantar says. 

“The cost of importing products to Ireland from Britain has fallen while goods made in Ireland with British ingredients have typically been cheaper to produce,” Faughnan said. 

“This has allowed retailers to pass savings on to their customers – vital in such a competitive market – and as a result, grocery prices in Ireland have, for the most part, been falling since March 2017.” 

Supermarket wars

Meanwhile, Dunnes Stores has maintained its position as Ireland’s most popular supermarket, the shares show. 

Dunnes Stores accounted for 22.4% of the consumer spend over the course of the 12 weeks to 4 November 2018.

SuperValu has moved up one spot to second place, at 21.3%, while Tesco has fallen back into third place, at 21.3%. 

Bargain supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have had a strong start to the run up to Christmas, increasing sales by 5.5% and 4.3% respectively during the 12-week period, both coming in at 11.7%. 

“We are delighted to be the fastest growing retailer in Ireland for the second month in succession – this is great news for customers,” Giles Hurley, CEO of Aldi UK and Ireland said. 

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