Middle classes flock to cheap Dealz chain
The middle classes are flocking to budget retail chain Dealz to pick up sea salt, Alpen and Toblerone for €1.49.
Some 22pc of Dealz Irish shoppers come from the high-earning AB category, a proportion that has not changed as the country exited recession and became the fastest-growing economy in the EU, founder and chief executive Jim McCarthy told the Sunday Independent.
Ireland was Dealz's first foreign market outside of the UK.
It opened its first Irish store in 2011 and last week opened its 50th.
"We launched in the recession when people really needed value, but that hasn't gone away," said McCarthy. "The behaviour developed in the recession is sticky, it has persisted."
Average transaction values in Ireland are higher than in its UK stores, McCarthy said.
Dealz Irish shoppers are patriotic.
"Irish brands do really well." Electronics are also popular. Its standout Irish seller in recent weeks was a €1.49 selfie stick.
The company will probably not pay staff the living wage pledged by Lidl in Ireland, he indicated.
"I think wages will move up as the market changes; wage inflation will follow economic growth."
The living wage is set by Irish experts at €11.45, in contrast to the current minimum wage of €8.65.
He asked for advance warning from the Government of any plans for a living wage law.
"What I like is advance notice of things that impact business," he concluded.
Sunday Indo Business