Do you shop in Newry – To save money or is it just a day out?

Update: Check out the 2016 listing of Special Offers from the various Northern Ireland grocery chains.

Early 2009 saw the setting up of a number of businesses designed to take the pain out of shopping in Newry for Irish consumers. These businesses would both take you up north by bus and bring your shopping home for you, or they’d take delivery of your online shopping orders for you to their warehouses up north and then deliver them to your house.

Of the three in particular that I’d noticed, only one of those is actually still operating – and even that one seems to have had some issues and is now under “new management”.

Don’t get me wrong here; I’m not lamenting the departure of these businesses, merely making an observation. I was never fully convinced by that type of business model – essentially they’re a combination of importers and courier companies. That, and some of the pretty negative feedback I’d received through this site, meant there probably wasn’t anything in it for Irish consumers.

I wrote before how Irish consumers should avoid using RecessionBusTours.ie – now longer in operation. I referred to SmartSavers.ie previously as well but had no opinion on them one way or the other – they’re also no longer in operation. The only one of the three still working is DealHunter.ie – which has gone through a change in management.

It’s obvious that there isn’t a stable market in Ireland for these kind of services – despite all the talk about the vast savings that are said to be had when shopping up north.

Which got me to thinking? Is the shopping up north phenomenon at the moment as much about having a day out as it is about saving money? And lets face it, doing your shopping up north is a full days effort rather than a couple of hours if you shop local.

Do you shop up north? Do you travel up yourself rather than use these kinds of services? Maybe you have taken your hints from ValueIreland and don’t trust them.

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4 Responses to Do you shop in Newry – To save money or is it just a day out?

  1. Laura November 17, 2009 at 11:15 #

    I’ve been doing a monthly grocery shop in Newry since February this year, and although it is an opportunity for my husband and I to have a day out together, believe me, I can think of much better ways for the two of us to spend our time. As you said, it’s an all-day affair, and we’re exhausted by the time we get home to Dublin. But we save a third on our grocery bill, which just about balances what I lost in reduced wages last year, so we continue to grin and bear it.

  2. Tom November 17, 2009 at 12:36 #

    I personally don’t shop up North as it seems like FAR too much hassle but then luckily I don’t feel I financially need to.

    I do buy lots of things from both the UK and US online though. I find that, even after the cost of shipping many items can be up to 50% less.

    I was very miffed one day when I had to pay nearly €100 VAT on some clothes though! Whatever the legalities, I really felt the government had no right to do that…

  3. Senan November 17, 2009 at 23:45 #

    Went up to Belfast when there was no Dublin IKEA, but I don’t think I’d make the same trip again just to save on the price differences between to 2 stored.

    I do know plenty of people planning to go up to do their Christmas shopping. Apparently you’d be mad to do so at the weekend as there will be huge tailback.

    Another thing to note is that UK VAT rates are due to increase in January so the gap will be reduced (provided Lenihan doesn’t do anything drastic in the upcoming budget!)

  4. Mary November 19, 2009 at 15:43 #

    We go up to Newry because it is soo much cheaper, and to be honest your custom is more appreciated!

    Last week we went on afterwards to Dalzell’s of Markethill (10 miles from Newry) to get a new washing machine and saved seventy euros, delivered for free!

    Why? We’ve seen their vans delivering to both our local electrical retailers!

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