A Monaghan shop owner says he is seeing more and more people coming across the border from the North to do some of their Christmas shopping. Although people from the Republic have always travelled across the border in the other direction to places like Newry, Belfast, and Coleraine to get cheaper groceries, alcohol, and presents, Brexit has changed that trend.
In 2018, a cross border shopping survey showed over €450 million was spent in Northern Ireland by people from the Republic. However, in recent years those trading in border counties say this trend is dying.
Glyn Williams from the Centra store in Emyvale, says there are particular items people from the North are coming for. One example is Irish-made chocolate. "Cadbury's eight-block bar is made in Ireland;" he said, "in the North, it's made in Poland so, everyone comes here for that chocolate." Southern Tayto crisps are also a crowd-puller, Glyn said. "There's a northern brand and a southern brand and they all come here for the southern brand because it's far nicer so, they're coming to the south to pick up these products."
The retailer also said items like Jacob's biscuits are preferred because they are made in Ireland and customers stock up when they're in the South. He also said shoppers are "finding the pricing's far better" now too.