Republic of Ireland news

Shoppers from the Republic are heading north for bargains

Newry's Quays Centre is among those to benefit from a surge in southern shoppers. Picture by Mal McCann

ALMOST twice as many southern shoppers are planning to head north before Christmas, a survey has found.

Shops in border areas including Newry and Derry have reported a surge in visitors from the Republic since October.

With €1 now worth around 84 pence, southern shoppers have been quick to spot the value in a weaker sterling.

Around a quarter of people in the south plan on shopping outside the Republic ahead of Christmas, according to a poll by AA Ireland.

Around 12 per cent plan to head north - up from seven per cent last year.

The AA said clothing was the most popular item sought with more than 60 per cent including it in out-of-state shopping lists.

Other popular goods included alcohol and groceries.

Conor Faughan of AA Ireland said: “It is very likely that the currency is the key factor but it’s probably not the only one.

“There is also a bit more confidence around this year. Traffic volumes are up, employment is up and people are spending more generally. In AA Roadwatch we are expecting cities and city car parks to be very busy in December.”

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