Buttercrane making hay while sun shines

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

THE manager of the Buttercrane Shopping Centre has outlined to the Democrat that the strength of the euro against sterling at present has had a positive impact on business for the past 12 months.

The value of the pound has recently fallen again, and there are fears that it could actually reach parity against the eurozone currency by the end of 2017.

Although operating in a border area is very much a case of swings and roundabouts as regards currency fluctuation, the current situation has been very much to the benefit of the Buttercrane.

"It's always beneficial whenever it is where it's at," said Mr Peter Murray.

"It's probably 90p, 91p or something like that at the minute. Newry wise, yes it's good - it's good for us business-wise.

"[But] there's always two sides to this story - there's the business side and then there's the person going off on holiday where it's going to be more expensive for them."

Mr Murray described the 90 cent mark as "a tipping point" beyond which businesses such as the Buttercrane really notice a major influx of trade from across the border.

"We do see an upturn in business from the south when it gets better value for them," he said.

"And 90p is always I think a tipping point. We've thankfully enjoyed that for about 12 months now - really since Brexit.

"It peaked as sterling weakened with the election of Donald Trump - that did all sorts of things to currencies all over the world.

"So the euro was strong and we did see a real upsurge in November/December."

Mr Murray revealed that the Buttercrane are expecting good news as regards sales figures when the latest data comes in, and is hoping that the trend will continue as they face into the most crucial period of the year - the run-up to Christmas.

"We're anticipating a really strong back quarter from out of town, or out of state visitors," he added.

"The tourist sector had a great summer this year, and retail is part of tourism and we've got a bit of a spin-off from that - from folks visiting the good events organised by the Council, or the Mournes or Carlingford or whatever it might be.

"But retail wise now, once we get September out of the way, then we're into the business end of the year. And if you are a footballer, you might be talking about it's "squeaky bum time" whenever we get into that time of the season.

"The strong exchange rate will certainly help in terms of business coming across the border. I have no doubt about that."


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