Top stories in the papers this week 24 – 30 July 2012

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Dunnes, Superquinn hit by plunge in grocery market share; Green light for GM potatoes test; Aldi sparks price war with €5 offer for school uniforms



30 July 2012

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1. Dunnes, Superquinn hit by plunge in grocery market share

Dunnes Stores and Superquinn are the two biggest victims of consumer thrift, according to new figures from Kantar Worldpanel, which show their shares of the Irish grocery market fell significantly in the 12 weeks to 8 July. The Irish Independent reports Dunnes Stores‘ market share fell 4.9% to 22.2% in the period, while Superquinn’s share plunged 10.1% to 5.5%. Meanwhile, own-brand product sales climbed 1.9% in the latest period. 

2. Green light for GM potatoes test

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given the go-ahead for a genetically modified blight-resistant potato crop to be tested on lands in Co Carlow. The Irish Times reports two hectares will be planted over the next four years to assess how the GM potatoes cope with less fungicidal spray than conventional varieties. Opponents of GM now have a three month window to lodge a judicial review of the licence. 

3. Aldi sparks price war with €5 offer for school uniforms

Aldi has fired the latest round in the school uniform price war by offering uniforms for just a fiver. The Irish Independent reports the retailer is to offer skirts and trousers for €2 each, a two-pack of polo shirts for €1.25 and sweatshirts for €1.75. This is cheaper than Dunnes Stores’ offering, which costs €15 to kit out a primary schoolchild.

4. £270m slump in cross-border shopping

A dramatic fall in shoppers from the south is costing the Northern Ireland economy up to £270m a year, reports The Belfast Telegraph. The decline in cross-border shopping has been prompted by a weak euro, which fell to a four-year low against the pound on Friday 20 July. Economist John Simpson said cross-border shopping was worth over £370m a year to Northern Ireland’s economy in 2009 but estimated it has now fallen to £100m. 

5. Nestle recalls free mugs over crack fears

Nestle is recalling promotional mugs that came free with Nescafe coffee as they might crack when hot water is added. The Irish Independent reports the UK-based manufacturer took out advertisements in national newspapers across Ireland last week advising customers not to use the mugs that are on offer with its Nescafe Gold Blend instant coffee. Retailers have been asked to remove the packs, and customers will be reimbursed for those already bought.


Recorded offences linked to alcohol sale falls (Irish Examiner)

CSO reveals decline in retail sales (Irish Examiner) 

Biggest annual retail sales drop since December 09 (RTE News) 

Nearly 40% of under-25s unemployed – CSO figures (Irish Independent) 

It’s the €5 uniform that 80% of schools ban from classroom (Evening Herald) 

New strategy launched to raise Donegal’s food profile (Donegal Democrat) 

Farmers working together to achieve better milk prices (Impartial Reporter) 

£270m slump in cross-border shopping (Belfast Telegraph) 

Two-year low for grocery as spend declines (Irish Examiner)

Minister hails milk price deal (Carrick Today)

Festival leaves a sweet taste (Irish Examiner) 

Sales figures show Noonan’s VAT gamble has yet to pay off (Irish Independent) 

Plans by banks to phase out Laser cards delayed (Irish Times) 

‘Size matters’ in rates relief debate (Belfast Media Group) 

Shops in crisis as sales fail to attract crowds (Evening Herald) 

Column: Yes, booze causes problems – but why tar us all with the same brush? (The 

High rents, recession and record rainfall hit struggling retailers (Irish Independent) 

Retail sector suffers sales slump (Irish Independent) 

Contracting retail sales in June due to falling motor trade, figures show (Irish Times) 

Nama plans threaten Drogheda project (Irish Times)





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