Tesco in the Republic is preparing to launch a price war in a bid to stem the exodus of shoppers to Northern Ireland.
Sources last night revealed the supermarket giant will slash its prices to match the sterling equivalent being charged by rival chains in Newry and other towns close to the Border here.
But it is not clear if the price reductions, which are set to come into effect on Tuesday, will apply only to Tesco’s 11 stores close to the Border in the Republic, or whether they would be extended further south.
All 11 of the company’s Border stores will close today for a refurbishment and re-open for business again on Tuesday.
“We don’t want to comment until the evidence is on the shelves,” a spokesman said.
He added customers would be pleasantly surprised.
To make savings, Tesco in the Republic is set to source internationally branded products through its UK supply network, but the company insisted Irish producers would not be affected by the move.
But Food and Drinks Industry Ireland, which represents the sector, warned the measure could lead to job losses.
The move came as Irish store Superquinn announced price reductions of up to 15% on what it called some major branded food and grocery items.