Shoppers search for value south of border

SHOPPERS are looking for more bargains south of the border rather than splashing their cash in the North as consumers realise they are getting less for their euro in Britain.

Figures released by services group, Experian show that Irish footfall, which measures the number of shoppers at centres, fell by 1.7% in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the same period last year.

However, the research shows that footfall in the North fell by 6.3% in the same period.

Head of sales and marketing for Experian, Paul Slevin said the retail price index shows that prices in the Republic are continuing to fall, resulting in price differentials that existed north and south of the border dwindling.

“In addition, the value of sterling is rising against the euro, which means that southern shoppers get less for their euro north of the border.

“It is fair to assume that some of those southern shoppers, who had been visiting Northern Ireland to take advantage of the weaker pound and lower VAT rate, are now looking for better value for money closer to home,” he said.

Meanwhile a separate survey among retailers found that over half said the level of business over the last three months has increased while three quarters thought business will continue to increase over the next three months.

The survey by retail recruitment firm, Teamworx also found that two thirds of retailers have hired staff over the last three months and over 70% expect to do the same over the coming months.

Dale Powell of Teamworx said: “Employment in the retail sector will improve this year with the expansion of some brands, such as Hugo Boss and Hackett. Forever 21 will open in Dublin city centre in the coming months with plans to recruit a large number of managers and staff. Footwear retailer Logo 69 may also be opening a number of concessions throughout Ireland.”

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