Top stories in the papers this week 8 – 15 April 2011

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450 jobs created at new Balbriggan shopping centre; Shoppers buy less as prices increase; Second phase of Naas shopping centre launched



14 April 2011

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1. 450 jobs created at new Balbriggan shopping centre

The €85m Millfield centre opened in Balbriggan, Dublin, earlier this week. The first major shopping centre to open in Ireland in almost two years, the Evening Herald reports the outlet is on track to provide nearly 450 jobs. The development houses over 30 retail units, and is anchored by a Tesco Extra which will employ more than 200 people, including 45 staff transferring from the existing Tesco Balbriggan store.

By lunchtime on its first day of trading, The Irish Times reports the Millfield centre was thronged with shoppers, with almost 700 of its 950 car parking spaces occupied. However while shoppers in the new centre were generally positive about the development, some retailers were worried about the effect that the centre – located about 10 minutes’ walk from Balbriggan town – would have on the high street.  

2. Shoppers buy less as prices increase

Shoppers are buying 4% fewer groceries in a bid to cut back as they are faced with rising prices, figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland show. Own brand products now also account for 35% of grocery spend, compared with 33.5% last year. The Irish Examiner reports that while the grocery market is still growing albeit at a lower rate, that the biggest impact of the cutbacks was felt in the fresh and chilled sector.  

3. Second phase of Naas shopping centre launched

A marketing campaign has launched for the second phase of the Monread Shopping Centre in Naas, developed by Tesco. The Irish Times reports the €30 million complex on the town’s edge, which is anchored by Tesco Extra, is trading strongly. Along with a similar store in Maynooth, it has been in the top five Irish Tesco stores for turnover. When completed, the centre will have a further 22 shop units.

4. Washing powder giants fined by EU

Consumer goods giants Unilever and Procter & Gamble have been fined €315.2 m by EU regulators for fixing washing powder prices in eight EU countries. Germany’s Henkel, which alerted the European Commission to the cartel in laundry detergents, was not fined. The Irish Times reports the cartel operated in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands between 2002 and 2005.

5. Illegal cigarettes seized in Portlaoise Mail Centre

Over €70,000 worth of illegal cigarettes and tobacco has been seized in Portlaoise in recent weeks. The Laois Nationalist reports that the Revenue’s customs service seized 158,600 cigarettes and 20 kgs of handrolling tobacco, found at the Portlaoise Mail Centre, with an estimated retail value of €73,700 as a result of intensified activity between 25 March and 3 April. The find represents a potential loss to the exchequer of €58,000.


Appetite for more supermarket space could unleash a price war (Guardian, UK)

Glanbia/Flahavans venture a success (Irish Independent)

Retail: the good news is, there’s growth (Irish Times)

Families’ spending power squeezed (Newsletter)

Price of milk, butter and cheese to soar (Evening Herald)

£13.7bn price tag for uneaten food (Belfast Telegraph)

Donegal Creameries sees profits rise (Irish Times)

Lidl move for Clarehall? (Irish Times)

Spirit of independence rules in Wexford (Irish Times)

EU finds serious flaws in farm system (Irish Times)

Society denies it favours landlords in arbitrations (Sunday Business Post)

Health warnings to be put on alcoholic drink cans, bottles (Irish Times)

M&S warning over hacked details (Irish Times)

Tesco urged to highlight Asian exposure as it bucks falling FTSE (Guardian, UK)

Out-of-town shopping malls suffer as fuel price deters shoppers (Guardian, UK)

Pig producers hold protest to highlight €1m a week losses (Irish Times)

Reckitt’s £90m man goes, as retailers report better news (Guardian, UK)

Cash-strapped consumers go on a spending strike (Guardian, UK)



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