M&S charges Irish shoppers up to 39% more than UK counterparts for Christmas products

Retailer’s customers in Republic will pay more on Christmas turkeys, mince pies and trifles

A Pembrokeshire bronze turkey for 8-10 people costs between €65.25-€79.75 for Irish customers; but the equivalent cost for UK customers is just €50.32-€61.51.

A Pembrokeshire bronze turkey for 8-10 people costs between €65.25-€79.75 for Irish customers; but the equivalent cost for UK customers is just €50.32-€61.51.

 

Irish customers of Marks & Spencer are set to pay up to 39 per cent more than their UK counterparts for their turkeys, mince pies and trifles this Christmas, as the British retailer is applying a hefty premium on the prices of its festive food range in Ireland.

The company’s 75-page Christmas food catalogue shows that customers of its 17 outlets in the Republic are being charged higher prices across the majority of the main categories.

A little something sweet is also pricier in Ireland, with a selection of 36 mini mince pies retailing for €24 in Ireland, or £16 (€17.89) in the UK, a difference of 34 per cent
A little something sweet is also pricier in Ireland, with a selection of 36 mini mince pies retailing for €24 in Ireland, or £16 (€17.89) in the UK, a difference of 34 per cent

A Pembrokeshire bronze turkey for 8-10 people costs between €65.25-€79.75 for Irish customers. However, based on an exchange rate of £1:€1.11842, the equivalent cost for UK customers is just €50.32-€61.51. This suggests a mark-up of about 30 per cent.

M&S’s luxury seafood platter is actually cheaper for Irish residents, at €100 compared with €111 in the UK.
M&S’s luxury seafood platter is actually cheaper for Irish residents, at €100 compared with €111 in the UK.

A dry-aged sirloin of beef to serve 6-8 costs from €60.20-€73.20 in the Republic, or about 28 per cent more than in the UK, while a Devonshire Bronze turkey retails at between €60-€82.50 in Ireland, which is 36 per cent more than in the UK.

More expensive

Potato dauphinoise costs the sterling equivalent of €8.94 in the UK, but €12.50 in the Republic – a difference of some 39 per cent – while an Italian meats and parmesan platter is €35 here or 25 per cent more expensive than the £25 (€28) charged in the UK.

An Italian meats and parmesan platter: €35 in Ireland or £25 in the UK (€28), a difference of 25 pr cent.
An Italian meats and parmesan platter: €35 in Ireland or £25 in the UK (€28), a difference of 25 pr cent.

Irish shoppers will pay more for cheaper items too. Pork and chestnut stuffing bacon cups are on sale for €9 here, or some 34 per cent more than in the UK, while a selection of 36 mini mince pies is priced at €24 in the Republic, which is also some 34 per cent more than the UK price of £16 (€17.89).

A spokeswoman for Marks and Spencer suggested that the higher cost of doing business in Ireland is behind the differential.

It might be tasty – but is it 39% more tasty? Potato dauphinoise is €8.94 in the UK – or €12.50 in Ireland.
It might be tasty – but is it 39% more tasty? Potato dauphinoise is €8.94 in the UK – or €12.50 in Ireland.

“We work hard to ensure we offer our customers in Ireland great quality products that are competitively priced,” she said.

Factors

“Like any business, we have to take into consideration a number of factors specific to the Irish market when setting our prices, such as higher employment, rental and operational costs.”

A Scottish salmon en croute will cost you £25 (€27.96) in the UK – or €36 here, a difference of some 25 per cent.
A Scottish salmon en croute will cost you £25 (€27.96) in the UK – or €36 here, a difference of some 25 per cent.

However, the scale of the difference may surprise – and annoy – customers. Although sterling has been substantially weaker against the euro since the Brexit referendum in June 2016, UK retailers have been slow to cut prices to reflect this. A survey conducted earlier this year by The Irish Times of 12 UK retailers operating in the Republic found that currency mark-ups applied by these retailers varied significantly.