Tesco reopened 11 of its stores in the Republic of Ireland and slashed prices by as much as 25% yesterday (5 May) in response to the challenge of cross border shopping in Northern Ireland.

The retailer closed all of its border stores on Saturday evening, refurbished them over the weekend and reopened them today with major price reductions and extended choices.

Stores involved were Bailieborough, Ballinamore, Cavan, Carrick on Shannon, two in Dundalk, two in Drogheda, Letterkenny, Monaghan and Sligo.

Prices on 12,500 goods at the 11 stores have been reduced by an average of 22% with many price cuts exceeding 25%. Prices have been reduced across all categories including bread, dairy products, frozen food, meat, vegetables, packaged groceries, deli products, baby products, health and beauty, ready meals and household products.

Tesco said the new prices are “long term structural changes”, and not “promotional prices”.

“From now on, this is as far north as anyone needs to go to get great value,” said Tony Keohane, chief executive, Tesco Ireland. “We are one of Ireland’s largest employers and we are making fundamental changes which have reduced our prices significantly.”

Keohane added that the changes were a “fight-back” to protect jobs and the economy in the region.

“This substantial investment will enable us to compete in the long term with prices north of the border and will remove the incentive or the need for consumers to travel, which has been bad for jobs, for local economies and the national economy.”

Keohane said today’s initiative was a first step in a programme to bring new lower prices to Tesco customers across Ireland in the near future. It would be a phased programme, reflecting the scale and operational logistics involved.

The price of Tesco own brand milk is being reduced by 7% for 1 litre from EUR0.87 (US$1.16)to EUR0.81. A range of 60 fresh meat products are also being reduced by an average of 16% and 17 poultry product prices are being reduced by an average of 24% including whole chickens from EUR3.49 to EUR2.49 per kilo.