Top stories in the papers this week 4 – 11 November 2011

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Irish consumers to top list of European spenders this Christmas; M&S profits dented by higher costs; Cases of treatment for alcohol abuse up 42% since 2005



10 November 2011

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1. Irish consumers to top list of European spenders this Christmas, survey shows

Republic of Ireland shoppers will once more top a Europe-wide festive shopping table, according to the 10th annual Deloitte spending survey. The Irish Times reports Ireland had lost out to Luxembourg for the last two years, but is now back in poll position. However the average spend per household is down from €1,020 in 2010 to €943 this year. Of this amount, €258 will be spent on food.

2. M&S profits dented by higher costs

Marks & Spencer has revealed a profits drop after it opted not to pass on the full extent of rising costs to shoppers, reports the Irish Independent. The UK chain had a surplus of £315.2 million for the six months to 1 October, a drop of 8% on a year earlier and its first reduction in profits for two years. However the group said it had taken "decisive action" by offering better value when households’ finances were being squeezed.

3. Cases of treatment for alcohol abuse up 42% since 2005

The number of instances of treatment for alcohol abuse has risen by over 40% in six years, according to a new Health Research Board report. The Irish Times reports that speaking at the report’s publication, Minister of State for Primary Care Róisín Shortall described below-cost selling of alcohol, as well as advertising targeting young people, as “irresponsible”.

4. IFA: Potato growers get just 30% of consumer price in retail squeeze

Potato growers are taking just 30% of the consumer price, and are coming under severe price pressure from retailers, according to a new IFA membership survey. The Irish Examiner reports potato growers are adding their voice to calls for the Government to introduce a statutory Grocery Code of Practice. The IFA said the use of cut-price potatoes as a promotional ploy in shop windows was a particular problem for the sector.

5. Retailers gloomy over economy with just 15% growing in confidence

Retailers have called on the Government to improve consumer confidence in the forthcoming Budget, reports the Irish Examiner. Some 54% of shop owners rate the current performance of their own business as poor, a Retail Ireland survey found. The group said: “Government needs to embark on a comprehensive and pro-active communications strategy to put the facts on the economy in perspective for consumers."


Some landlords giving commercial tenants 30% rent cuts (Irish Independent)

Fall in number of potatoes planted in Republic (Irish Times)

Food company plans £50k expansion with a sweet deal from entrepreneur (Belfast Telegraph)

136,000 litres of fuel seized (Argus)

The cost of below-cost alcohol (Mayo News)

Dublin city parking rules relaxed to help shops (Evening Herald)

Irish plan to splash the cash at Christmas (Irish Examiner)

Almost 50% of firms predict gloomy quarter (Irish Times)

How to be frugal this festive season (Irish Times)

Just the job at Christmas (Irish Times)

Hundreds of small firms sign up for free advice service (Irish Examiner)

Retailers urge action to boost consumer confidence (Irish Examiner)

Spar comes to Carrigstown, but the benefits may be imaginary (Irish Times)

Fears hefty VAT hike would further damage retail sales (Irish Independent)

Lies, damned lies and wine labels (Irish Times)

Australia passes plain-packaging cigarette law (Guardian)

AB Foods sugar rush as Primark slips (Irish Times)

Competition (Amendment) Bill 2011: Second Stage (Resumed) (Houses of the Oireachtas)

Dublin suburb sites for sale at reduced prices (Irish Times)

Charity Christmas card survey reveals Scrooge retailers (Guardian)
-Internet retailers the worst offenders for passing on proceeds of Christmas cards sold in name of charity, says report

Bord Bia Awards
(Irish Times)

Frankie Cocozza to be edited out of M&S ad after being kicked off X Factor (Guardian)



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