The falling euro against sterling is leading to “bumper trading” in Inishowen.
Traders in the peninsula say they are seeing a welcome boost to business as local customers stay close to home and those from Derry cross the border to take advantage of the strong exchange rates.
At Euroexchange in Muff yesterday, one euro was worth 73 cents and there are reports this may fall further.
Ryan Stewart, the new president of Buncrana’s Chamber of Commerce told the ‘Journal’ this, combined with falling fuel prices and a more competitive business environment has led to a “bumper month of trading” in Buncrana and Inishowen since Christmas.
He said: “It really has been a good start to the year for businesses in the town, and we are hoping that the trend will continue well into 2015.
“Not only are we seeing more money staying in the town, but an influx of sterling has also been noticed by traders.
“The exchange rate has had a massive impact, and it can almost be compared back to the time when the euro was introduced. Back then, we had people coming from the north to do their weekly shopping, not just for big ticket items, and those times are returning.”
He added:“It is clear that this year, more people in Inishowen are also deciding to shop locally, put off by less attractive exchange rates on sterling, and this has led to a 20% increase in sales of Buncrana Shopping vouchers.”
Ryan said that traders have responded to the “competitive edge” the falling euro has provided and many are offering 30% in sterling.
He told how the slump in fuel prices has also led to a boost for local traders and said Inishowen is “open for business.”
Kieran Doherty, manager of Supervalu, Buncrana said the exchange rate has been “very good for business.”
He said while the store is ordinarily very busy anyway, they have “definitely noticed numbers are up again this year.”
He added how they are taking in “double” the amount of sterling compared to this time last year and said local people are also buying at home.
He said: “When people come from Derry or who perhaps haven’t been in to us in a while see the value for money and products we offer they tend to return again. It’s definitely very good for business.”