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Are distributors to blame for Ireland’s high prices?

The media are currently debating the claims that representatives of the retail industry made to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Anyone who listened to The Last Word yesterday would have heard Matt Cooper getting extremely exasperated about it. Retailers are claiming that the reason prices are so high in the Republic of Ireland is because international distributors charge more to Irish buyers.

This may well be true, but isn’t it a little strange that this is only becoming public knowledge now? For a long time, retailers blamed higher operating costs, staff costs and VAT for the sterling/euro price differential, but we’re all aware now that this difference accounts for only around 6%. Now the blame is being shifted to the distributors – is this the fault of the media for only reporting it now, or is it a new and convenient excuse for the retailers? What do you think?

RTE report on the claims here, and the Irish Times here.

One Comment

  1. As a retailer I can state for a fact that certain wholesalers charge Irish retailers a euro price equal to 1.5 times their sterling wholesale price , when invoicing in euro .
    The way around this is to be invoiced in sterling and pay in sterling which is very possible , although certain wholesalers refuse to do this
    I have queried this only to be given the fairytale answer that it is due to their insurance companies requirements .

    Our solution is to cut out these wholesalers and find the ones willing to work with us and thus with a little pain on both sides we can match the sterling retail prices , even taking into account the 6% vat difference .

    These are challenging times but there is nothing to be gained by retailers whinging about it and making excuses .

    If you look hard enough for a solution there is always one to be found !