In the papers this week 21 – 27 Feb 2009

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Irish TV presenter Lorraine Keane at the Forty Foot in Dublin’s Sandycove (Photo : Justin Farrelly)

Irish Times pulls out of Dunnes Stores, Coughlan askes Competition Authority to investigate Irish supply chain, Cadbury chocolate and Heinz Beanz sales are up



4 March 2009

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The Irish Times has suspended its supply of newspapers to Dunnes Stores as the retailer refuses to pay according to the terms and conditions which apply to all newsagents, the paper reported. On 6 February, Dunnes cancelled its direct debit to the publisher and communicated by letter that, from now on, it is company policy to pay all daily papers by monthly cheque

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has ordered the Competition Authority to investigate supply chains in the retail sector amid claims that wholesalers and/or retailers are profiteering on imported goods, reports The Irish Times

As the country awaits the Oireachtas enterprise committee’s findings on ‘rip-off Ireland’, Britain’s two biggest supermarkets have said they don’t want a strengthened Groceries Supply Code of Practice. Proposals to amend the code between food retailers and suppliers would only increase the regulatory burden and costs on the sector, say Tesco and Asda in the FT 

And in The Daily Telegraph, Tesco added that the proposed changes would lead to its employees having to write an extra two million emails to suppliers

The Daily Telegraph also took a look at Cadbury’s sweet success in our current recessionary times; the company has reported profits are up 30%

But despite this success, Cadbury executives have opted to take a voluntary pay freeze. The Daily Mail reports that they look set to “embarrass Britain’s fat cat bankers”

Dunnes Stores Park Street shop in Dundalk has closed after over 30 years, which could signal the sale of a number of other small outlets in the provinces, according to The Irish Times. Dunnes has also left two of its Dublin outlets, including the Grafton Street site, all as part of a review of its trading operations

Fairtrade products grew by over 30% despite the recession, a report in The Irish Times revealed. Irish shoppers bought €30.5 million worth of Fairtrade products in 2008 and a further increase is expected this year following the decision of Musgraves/Centra and Topaz to sell Fairtrade as their coffee-to-go

The Australian division of Independent News & Media (INM) has reported worse than expected figures for 2008. Profits fell by 17% at Australian group APN News & Media, in which Dublin-based INM has nearly a 40% share. The Irish Examiner has the story

Another company benefiting from consumers’ increased desire for comfort food in our harsh economic climate is Heinz, says the Telegraph UK sales of its famous Baked Beanz soared 21% compared to the same period last year

Siobhán O’Connell in The Irish Times examines the challenge facing Irish Distillers in stopping the decline of Powers Gold Label. She says, “US whisky in particular has been making strong inroads, with sales volumes in Ireland doubling over the past five years”

Compared to others, the Irish Government was quick off the block with a plastic bag levy. However, in the UK it has been reported that shops gave out 3.5 billion fewer plastic bags last year under a voluntary scheme. This has headed off the threat of a government ban there for the moment, says The Independent (UK)

Are consumers topping up their mobiles less? O2 has said pay-as-you go average customer revenue dipped to €26.7 in the fourth quarter of last year, from €29 a year earlier. But on the plus side, texting is up – The Irish Times has the story

And finally… The Argus in Co. Louth has reported a bizarre shoplifting attempt. A man bought a trolley of goods and took them out to his car. He then proceeded to re-enter the supermarket and stock another trolley with the exact same items. When stopped by security on his exit, he produced his earlier receipt. The cunning would-be-shoplifter tried all manner of excuses in Dundalk District Court, but was promptly curtailed by Judge Flann Brennan who’d had enough of his “cock and bull” tale



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