Top stories in the papers this week 6 – 13 January 2012

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Rivals 'reduce Tesco market share' in the UK; Consumer confidence falls to 10-year low; Minimum alcohol price plan praised



11 January 2012

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1. Rivals ‘reduce Tesco market share’ in the UK

Rival supermarkets took a further slice out of Tesco’s market dominance in the UK during the key Christmas battleground period, the Irish Examiner reports. Research firm Kantar Worldpanel stated the chain’s share of the market for the 12 weeks ending on Christmas Day dropped from 30.5% a year ago to 30.1%. Kantar director Edward Garner said “there is now strong evidence that households are shopping around more”.

2. Consumer confidence falls to 10-year low

Confidence among consumers has hit its lowest level in 10 years, the Irish Independent reports. The index that measures the mood of consumers fell to 49.2 in December, down from 60.1 in November. The survey was compiled by the ESRI and KBC Bank, with KBC economist Austin Hughes attributing the huge drop in confidence to the "frenzied" discussions about the future of the euro and December’s Budget.

3. Minimum alcohol price plan praised

Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI), the national charity for alcohol-related issues, has welcomed government plans to introduce an alcohol price "floor". The Irish Examiner states Junior health minister Roisín Shortall is hoping to address the issue by including minimum pricing in a public health bill this year. The move will double the price of the cheapest cans of lager and add €4 to the price of own-brand vodka, according to media reports.

4. Spud growers face wipe out as prices drop to €70/tonne

Hundreds of potato growers face potential ruin as potato prices plummet far below the cost of growing them, Teagasc and the IFA have warned. The Irish Independent reports costs of production are estimated at €185/t, excluding storage and irrigation costs, yet some growers have been forced to accept prices as low as €70/t. The IFA said growers were facing wipeout as retailers and packers pocketed up to 80% of the final retail price.

5. Birr Town Council reduces rates by 1%

Providing an example to other local councils by at least moving in the right direction, Birr Town Council decided to reduce its retailing rates by 1% in its latest budget. The Midland Tribune reports councillors said the reduction will only be a very small benefit to the town’s retailers but during a recession it’s an appropriate gesture and the best gesture they can currently make.


Tesco suffers Christmas sales drop (Newsletter)

Head to head: regenerating Britain’s town centres (Guardian, UK)
Do big supermarkets do more harm than good? Two local government experts debate the future of the town centre

A town that takes pride in itself has the upper hand in attracting shoppers (Meath Chronicle)

Ireland’s food and drink exports increase by 12% to €8.85 billion (Bord Bia)

Bleak day for high street as Tesco slump spooks retail sector (Guardian, UK)

Sainsbury claim Christmas sales victory (

Local shops roll out the rewards for customers (Drogheda Independent)

M&S reports Christmas lift (Irish Times)

Commercial property market ‘to stabilise’
in 2012 (Evening Echo)

Should Tesco stop building new stores? (Guardian, UK)

Sligo co-op clear to buy Donegal stores (Irish Times)

Boots expands in west Dublin (Irish Times)

Checking out the safety and origin of the food in your trolley

Struggling consumers pessimistic over future (Irish Times)



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