Belfast Telegraph

Henderson Retail stores to extend £1 coin deadline

By Mark Edwards

Henderson Retail has confirmed around 80 of their Spar and Eurospar stores will continue accepting old round pound coins after they cease to become legal tender.

Retailers were due to stop accepting the old pound coins as legal tender on Sunday.

But Henderson - which owns Spar, Eurospar and Vivo stores - revealed yesterday it would still accept the coins until two weeks after the Royal Mint cut-off.

But the group said the announcement only refers to its 800 company-owned stores. Independently-owned Spar, Eurospar and Vivo stores - of which there are nearly 400 - are not covered by the exemption.

The spokesman said: "I can confirm that all company owned Spar, Eurospar and Vivo stores in Northern Ireland will continue to accept the 'old' £1 coin until October 31.

"Thereafter, only the new, 12 sided £1 coins will be accepted in our stores."

It follows a similar announcement by supermarket giant Tesco and discount retailer Poundland, who will be accepting the coins until October 22 and October 31 respectively.

A Tesco spokesman said: "We've been updating our systems ready for the new pound coins, but to help customers who still have the old coins, we'll continue to accept round pounds at our tills and self-service machines for an additional week."

From midnight on Sunday, the round pound will lose its legal tender status, meaning stores cannot hand out old pound coins as change and can refuse to accept them as payment.

People have been urged to rummage through their wallets, coat pockets, piggy banks and sofas so that they can spend them, bank them or give them to charity before this date.

Glyn Roberts, chief of executive of Retail NI, which represents independent traders in Northern Ireland, said: "We would urge retailers and consumers to take this deadline seriously.

"This deadline is going to be a challenge given that some multiple retailers have decided to be more flexible and continue to accept the old pound coin from shoppers after October 15.

"Retail NI's advice is clear to retailers and is line with what the Royal Mint is advising.

"Retailers are under no obligation to accept the round coin from customers and should not distribute the coin after Sunday. All round coins should have been banked. "However, the round coin can continue to be deposited into a customer's account at most high street banks and the post office." Shops need to ensure all coin-handling equipment is able to accept the new coin, he added.

Belfast Telegraph

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