More shoppers making grocery trips to Northern Ireland due to sterling weakness
Sterling weakness is prompting more shoppers to make trips to Northern Ireland for their groceries, with more than 207,000 households having made a break for the border in the past year to take advantage of cheaper prices.
But alcohol is the main lure, with a quarter of the money being spent by the border hoppers being splashed out on booze.
Research group Kantar Worldpanel said that in the past year, just over one in eight households from the Republic made at least one trip north to do a grocery shop.
“While these excursions account for a relatively small percentage of each family’s supermarket visits – on average, eight out of 270 annual trips – they spend substantially more when they cross the border,” according to Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar Worldpanel.
“Shoppers from the Republic spent €38.50 on an average shop in Northern Ireland while the average spend back home is €23.70. This is likely to be because they want to make the extra effort worthwhile,” he added.
Mr Faughnan confirmed that alcohol is the biggest draw for shoppers making the trip across the border.
“Of the €65m spent by Republic of Ireland shoppers in Northern Ireland over the past year, a quarter went on alcohol, adding up to just over €16m,” he said. “No other food or drink category comes close, with dairy products accounting for the next largest share of cross-border spend, at 5.9pc.”
Kantar Worldpanel said that weak sterling has also benefited shoppers in the Republic, however.
“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,” explained Mr Faughnan. “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.”
Latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel show that Dunnes Stores has retained the top spot in Ireland’s grocery retailer league table, pulling significantly ahead of its two main rivals, Tesco and SuperValu.
Dunnes had a 22.4pc share of the multi-billion euro grocery market in the 12 weeks to November 4, according to figures this morning from research group Kantar Worldpanel.
Musgrave-controlled SuperValu had 21.4pc, while Tesco had 21.3pc.