In the papers this week 6 – 12 June 2009

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Blas na heireann finalists 2022 pictured ahead of the award presentations in Dingle County Kerry

Aldi and Lidl look to move into the convenience sector in Ireland, Tesco reconsiders Irish property sales, and €40,000 worth of cigarettes seized at Dublin Airport

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12 June 2009 | 0

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Aldi and Lidl have both placed bids with Dublin City Council requesting permission to open neighbourhood convenience stores, reports the Sunday Tribune.

Lidl, which opened a Lidl Express in London last year, says that a neighbourhood presence allows them to cater to specific tastes and increase competition with their discount prices.

The move may be very successful for the German supermarkets, as London trend forecasters Future Laboratory has named a new consumer group ‘Aldiratis’, according to the Sunday Tribune. The group is comprised of those earning between €90,000 and €115,000 yet still choose discount products over big name brands. Future Laboratory speculates that it is an attempt to preserve a pre-recession lifestyle by spending smartly.

Tesco is also reconsidering the €212 million sale of six of its properties, according to the Sunday Tribune. It had originally intended to sell supermarkets in Athlone, Artane, Finglas, Cork, Arklow, and Tullamore. Although a reason has not been given for the reassessment, it comes in light of Tesco’s declining credit ratings at the end of May and increased supermarket competition in the U.K.

Meanwhile, Tesco in Bettystown will implement a promised price drop after last month’s announcement, says the Drogheda Independent. At least 11 stores have already reduced prices up to 25% on 12,500 grocery items, with Galway and Mayo added to the list this week and Bettystown set to reopen next Wednesday.

Last Friday saw the seizure of over €40,000 worth of cigarettes at Dublin Airport as part of an ongoing operation, reports the Irish Independent. The passengers, apparently linked to a Lithuanian gang, had arrived from Vilnius, Lithuania, carrying over 100,000 L&M and Marlboro cigarettes. A Lithuanian man driving a car was also arrested possessing 32,000 cigarettes.

The Sunday Business Post reports that Centra is again taking part in the annual Centra Childline Big BBQ. For the months of June and July, consumers are encouraged to register and host a charity barbecue in order to raise money for Childline.  This is the convenience store’s second year after raising €408,000 last year. Centra is dropping prices on all barbecue items to facilitate more registrations.

Cork may see 60 new jobs soon, says the Irish Independent. Nualight, a company that installs LED lighting in grocery retailers, hopes to employ 80 people in the next two years. Because the lights are energy efficient, ESB will invest €5 million in the company as well.

A HSBC analyst points to Marks & Spencer’s uninhibited store growth in Ireland as one of the reasons for the company’s current financial struggles, reports the Sunday Tribune. During the Celtic Tiger’s property boom, M&S opened stores in locations that are now being questioned. For instance, the Tallaght branch does not meet the company’s demographic or neighbouring business standards. The analyst believes the company’s future international success depends on how well Ireland’s economy bounces back.

Nominees have been named for the Ernest & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, says the Irish Times. The awards, which will host a televised showing of the winners on Thursday 22 October, has three categories: International, Industry, and Emerging. The industry category features such brands as E. Flavahan Sons Ltd. for their oat products, and Carton Group Ltd. for their poultry.

Dairy industry leaders met to address the struggles of Irish dairy farmers, reports the Irish Examiner. The Dairy Industry Forum convened to discuss income problems due to the cost of doing business in Ireland versus elsewhere. They called on the European Commission to increase export refunds and on the government to pressure banks to provide support while farmers currently struggle.

Agricultural Minister Brendan Smith will try to draw in new entrants to the dairy market by assigning them 1% of the milk quota, reports the Irish Examiner. While some regard the initiative as a welcome freshness to the dwindling market, others are concerned that it will divert attention from the dairy farmers already struggling. Applicants must submit a business plan by 31 July, and those selected will attend training courses.

The Irish Examiner reports that consumers have changed their shopping habits, according to the 80,000 phone calls made to the National Consumer Agency in 2008. The number of concerned callers rose almost 15% since 2007 and expressed that they have become thriftier. Most now use vouchers and coupons, and a third of the callers say they shop at a number of different supermarkets in order to avail of the various discounts each store offers.

Three Irish Tescos will install DVD movie rental machines this week, reports the Irish Independent.  Movie Booth, a British movie vending company, has already been running a trial version of the machine in one Tesco.  Clare Hall in Dublin, Wexford town, and another Dublin branch will receive the machines, and if they take off then Movie Booth’s managing director hopes to install additional kiosks in the months following.

 

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