Prices in the grocery sector continue to plummet. Today, Tesco announced the expansion of its Change for Good programme to nine Tesco shops in Dublin’s northside. The company promises a saving of up to 33% on your weekly shop, over 12,500 long-term price cuts, and a bigger choice of products than ever before. According to Tesco, an average trolley of goods has fallen from €151.75 to €96.46, a reduction of €55.29.
Change for Good has now been rolled out in one store in Cavan, nine in Dublin one in Donegal, two in Galway, two in Leitrim, three in Louth, two in Mayo, one in Roscommon, and one in Sligo. Tesco says it will soon be rolled all across Ireland. Why the delay?
Our readers have mixed feelings about Tesco’s changes. Nanazolie says:
Tesco Clare Hall have started displaying more British products. The shelves have completely changed. However, the prices haven’t yet. I went there on Saturday to see what it was really like. I must say I’ve mixed feelings about this: on one hand, I despise Tesco’s policy regarding Irish producers. I am no fan of Barry’s tea or Taytoo crisps, but I support the Irish economy. On the other hand, they now have a much wider choice, with products that I could only source from specialists shops before, like baking flours (granary, mixed grains, strong wholemeal….) and various types of yeasts, tinned vegetables (palm tree hearts, petits pois and carrots, creamed corn….), Gu and Artisan chocolates….
Tesco have come in for some criticism on both CheapEats, other websites, and in the mainstream press for its reliance on British imports. However, I suspect that the critics – including myself – just tend to have louder voices; those who don’t object to Tesco tend to be less inclined to speak out. If you shop in one of the chosen Tesco stores, have you noticed much of a difference? Are you a fan of Tesco, or do you think they’re the devil?
In today’s Irish Times, a new report from the Competition Authority is quoted:
On the one hand, retailers have been the focus of criticism over the price differential that has emerged between the Republic and Northern Ireland. On the other, retailers have also been criticised over their treatment of suppliers… The challenge from a public policy perspective is to discern legitimate actions by retailers, and indeed suppliers, from illegitimate ones.”
The same report suggests that higher food prices are a result of consumers not shopping around and being less price sensitive than other European countries. Is this a bit akin to former Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Harney’s infamous advice in 2003 that hard-pressed consumers should shop around? Is it up to us consumers to put pressure on retailers to reduce their prices?
Phew… so many issues. I’m going for a lie-down.