- a blog about food and value

Are you still shopping up north?

Irish TimesFor the past few years, the Republic’s retailers have watched in despair as their fickle customers fled across the border in search of cheaper prices and better deals. But according to Conor Pope in today’s Pricewatch, the days of cross-border shopping are numbered.

A less favourable exchange rate, a planned VAT hike in the UK, and more evenly matched prices account for the fall-off in shoppers, says Pope. But there’s still bargains to be had, especially on alcohol:

Last week Tesco was selling bottles of Jameson for €20 while the best Sainsbury’s could manage was £17.99 (€21.46). Hennessy Cognac meanwhile, which costs £21.50 (€25.65) in Northern Ireland, is €26 in Tesco.

Wolf Blass wines which had a price tag of £7.99 (€9.53) in Sainsbury’s sell for €10.99 in Tesco while Oyster Bay merlot also costs €10.99 in Tesco down South but £6.99 (€8.33) in Lisburn.

The real savings on wines come on the Sainsbury’s special deals bought by the case load.Last week good quality wines which normally sell for £8 (€9.54) were reduced to £6 (€7.16) with a further 25 per cent knocked off if purchased in cases of six.

Did you shop up north? Have you stopped? Why/ why not?


  1. Hi.
    I haven’t shopped up North as a) our economy needs us and b) it’s too far away for me anyway. Even if I did live close to the border though I have changed my shopping habbits since the recession. I now stick to my local Irish supermarket and support Irish food producers at farmer’s markets etc. as much as possible. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the messge that OUR ECONOMY NEEDS US. Thank you

  2. The UK rise in the VAT rate will allow the Irish government to raise the VAT rate here again in December, at which point the cross-border shop will be back on (if it ever went away…)