SHOPPERS coming over the border from down south are “critical” to Enniskillen’s local economy.
Noelle McAloon of the Enniskillen Business Improvement District (BID) says that Republic of Ireland car number plates are a welcome sight as day-trippers from over the border are boosting the town’s coffers by spending their euros here.
A number of residents down south choose to do their weekly grocery shop in Enniskillen knowing that they’ll get a cheaper bill in our supermarkets than those closer to home – one example of many being a three litre plastic carton of milk being a pound cheaper than in a store closer to home.
“No matter what is happening with the euro and the pound,” said McAloon, “Enniskillen has always caught that good flow of consumers from across the border.
“There are times when there are currency fluctuations that benefit one side of the border more than the other and you would see increased numbers of southern-reg cars in town.
“But they are always there and they are critical to the success of Enniskillen. You would find no business person in this town that would say they are not.
“You will have people come up and they will do their weekly shopping. There was a time when someone would come up from the south and fill up their car so much that their passenger had to take the bus home.
“It’s crazy when you look at the prices in supermarkets in the south compared to here. Even the difference in alcohol prices and the accessibility of it as well is there.
“You can make significant savings on your grocery bill by coming up from the south to shop in Enniskillen. However, when you look at what you would spend on petrol or diesel then I suppose the cost balances itself out.
“But the shoppers from the south are very much welcome here and we will continue to welcome them for as long as they keep coming over.”
The good news for Enniskillen’s economy is that other shops are getting a slice of the southern euro as well.
“While you will always have people coming up to get their groceries,” added McAloon, “you will also have people who come up once a month and it’s their day out – a treat day.
“They really enjoy the variety of what we have to offer in Enniskillen. Especially all the nice cafes that we have.
“It takes that customer flow from over the border to make Enniskillen as successful as it currently stands. “
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