Price Survey

CraicOn did a price survey a while back. Paul Gillen was telling me that people thought that shopping in Derry was cheaper but that people didn’t believe him when he told them that.

I didn’t belive him either. I thought that, well, he would say that wouldn’t he? Everyone knew that shopping in Derry was much cheaper.

However, I decided that I would test this out. I wrote down the price of 10 well known items in Gillen’s and then set off for Sainsbury’s in Derry.


I was really astonished to find that of the 10 items, only 3 were cheaper in Sainsbury’s and 7 were cheaper in Gillen’s. When you took into account the rate Sainsbury’s were giving to change Euros in turned out 8-2 for Gillen’s.

I had thought I was saving a lot of money by shopping in Derry when I was actually wasting money. When you take into account the cost of getting to Derry and back, you are probably losing quite a lot of money shopping there.


So, why did so many people shop in Derry when it is dearer? It’s possibly because it used to be cheaper in Derry. However, the downturn in Ireland has caused prices to fall. Also, inflation in the UK has been higher than it has been in Ireland over the last few years.

Another factor is that the distributors have had to cut their prices.

It looks as if people are coming to realise that Moville is cheaper as you see a lot more people shopping in Gillen’s with trolleys now. Sometimes you have to wait a little longer to get served. However, it takes a lot longer to get to Derry and back than to wait an extra few minutes in the queue.

Derry Shopping

This is not to berate people who shop in Derry. I shop there myself, as it is still cheaper to buy alcohol there as well as other things like pastries – and Gillen’s doesn’t have an Indian food counter.  However, I buy the bulk of my groceries in Moville now.

I did a similar test between Sainsbury’s meat counter and Donal’s butchers and Donal was cheaper for a majority of common meats.


It makes a big difference to the economy of a small town when the people of the town spend money there.

According to the economic Circulation of Money theory, every Euro that is spent in a town circulates an average of 6 times. When someone spends money in a  Moville shop instead of a Derry shop the shop owner might spend it on a plumber or painter who might spend it on a meal out in a restaurant, whose owner might spend it on a haircut or a hairdo.


If that money is spent in Derry it circulates there instead. Every Euro that a visitor brings to Moville circulates an average of 6 times too. That’s why the closure of the Caiseal Mara and the Foyle Hotel and the burning down of the Waterfront is causing so much economic hardship here.

So, any money spent in Moville rather than Derry will benefit an average of 6 people here. Also, if more money is spent on businesses here they’ll take on more staff or give existing staff extra hours. Those staff will then spend the extra money in Moville and that will circulate an average of 6 times.


So, if you spend €50 in Moville that would bring €300 of economic benefit to Moville.

Of course, like me, there are some things you would be better buying in Derry, but as a lot of the shopping items are cheaper here anyway, if you spend money here, and others do so to, it will give Moville a big boost and help in the revival of the town.

And our youngsters could stay home rather than going to the ends of the earth to find work.