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Tesco cutting prices, removing Irish brands from stores

tescoirelandTesco announced today that they will be significantly cutting prices at a number of their stores in the Border region.  They claim that the price cuts go up to 22%, and that they bring the price differential with NI supermarkets down to its lowest rate since 1979.

This follows another announcment, widely reported over the last few days, that Tesco will be removing many Irish brands from their stores. The change will take place in Tesco’s Border county stores and one shop in Cork.

The cost-cutting move is clearly being made to stop the transfer of business over the Border: it’s a bit disappointing for those of us who are not near the Border, and so won’t see any savings.  The move to reduce the Irish brands on the shelves is even more dismaying, as it is bound to have a damaging effect on Irish supppliers (Tesco control about a quarter of the Irish supermarket business). What do you think? Will you continue shopping in Tesco if they stop stocking your favourite Irish brands?

If you want to read more: Conor Pope comments on the change in Pricewatch, and Kieran Murphy of Ice Cream Ireland talks in his blog about the devastating effect it will have on suppliers.


  1. Most products are already english, even the fruits and vegs are not irish. I don’t really buy brands, so it makes no difference, but when it comes to fresh products, I like to buy local. Same for anything that can be produced in Ireland.

  2. Thanks, Jean, for giving this coverage!

  3. Im just home from the new Douglas Tesco, the Cork store mentioned in all the reports. It is alarming. I cant quite out my finger on it, but there is an air of 1980s Russia about the place. The scariest thing is that there are so many intrinsically British products on the shelves, eg cans of pease pudding and dandelion and burdock soft drink. I am responsible for all grocery shopping for the two of us (otherwise we would eat ready meals on our knees in front of the TV) and Im very familiar with the price of things I already buy in Dunnes or Super Valu and all bar none were more expensive in Tesco. Im sticking with Dunnes.

  4. Yikes, Claire! I never thought of it from that point of view…are we all going to be forced to eat like English people? Trifle, scotch eggs and spotted dick? Oh no.

  5. I remember in the last century when Tesco bought Quinnsworth and practically overnight the product selection in the stores changed to mostly unrecognisable british products.

    It didn’t take them long to change back to the irish products.

    I wonder will they be more successful this time.?

  6. Lidl and Aldi have very few Irish products, but because they are much chepear than the bigger chains, they attract more and more consumers. I even saw spring onions from Mexico yesterday at Lidl!

  7. While it is disappointing to see Tesco taking this action we only have ourselves to blame. Irish products on the whole can be very expensive. Many are sold as artisan type products in smaller jars with fancy labels at ridiculously high prices. Irish suppliers need to wake up to the new Ireland where spending power is diminished and cheap and cheerful is the order of the day. The natural reaction of suppliers everywhere is that the government has to do something to reduce transport costs etc etc. Maybe the manufacturers of Irish products need listen more to the needs of the consumer and concentrate less on profits and more on survival. With many people struggling to put a decent meal on the table it is only natural to go for the cheapest deal available regardless of where it has come from – many people simply cannot afford to be patriotic. Perhaps Tesco’s move has been a good one if only to give Irish producers a well needed wake up call.

  8. More on this: it seems a leaked memo shows that Tesco are nervous about how NI price comparisons are damaging their brand:

    “In the company memo, it said: “Consumers, media and government associate Tesco Ireland almost exclusively with price differentials between Northern Ireland and Ireland.”

  9. Wake up people – get into the 21st century.

    We are a nation who is part of the EU, that gives traders the right to sell their produce in any EU state. That includes Irish products sold in other EU states.

    The UK is, and has been, Ireland’s biggest export market, varying between 18-24% of Ireland’s total exports. If we in Ireland want to get picky about who we allow to trade here, just remember that those other markets can do so too, and it won’t be a nation the size of the UK who will come of worse. We are more dependent on our trading partners, than they are on us. Just remember that the Dunne’s, everyone is talking about, trades in Great Britain, I don’t think they would be happy if British people started boycotting their stores because of their Irish products.

    Moreover, to show good faith in Ireland’s ability to deliver, the UK government, in their 2009 budget, even allocated a ‘top-up’ trade credit insurance scheme up to £5 billion to give Irish exporters breathing space, and was welcomed by the Irish Exporters Association.

    We live in a globalised world, like it or not. If we take this attitude with one nation’s products, who is next – American products too? Maybe they’ll take their jobs with them too when they’ve had enough of us.

    Where do you think Penney’s comes from (In the UK they’re called Primark – it’s the same company – a subsidiary of British Associated Foods)? By the way, next to the USA, UK employers are our second biggest in the private sector.

    So as I said, wake up people. Realise the world you live in. If the Celtic Tiger has turned us into a nation of wingeing, foreigner hating, insular eejits, then we have forgotten too much.

  10. Every 1000 jobs lost in this country costs us all. Higher taxes, lesser services – you name it. I dont subscribe to Irish at any cost but the way Tesco are treating this country with their disingenous campaign is shocking. And they have already been caught by the IRISH tIMES putting up prices only weeks after their so called ‘long term price cuts’. They have it in for Irish supplieRs and dont deserve our support. Marty Whelan should hang his head in shame.
    We dont shop ther any more and discourage friends and realtives from doing so also. Jobs are precious – boycott Tesco.