This year, Checkout commemorates its 40th anniversary under its current ownership, and with this in mind, every week, Retail Intelligence is going to ‘reel in the years’ and publish a story from our extensive archives. This article from December 2001 discusses how very few Irish people were fully aware of the impending introduction of the Euro.
The Euro changeover is just three weeks away. With this in mind, Checkout took to the streets of Dublin to find out what the consumers know about the Euro. The results in some areas will raise more than a few alarms.
Only 5% of people in Ireland know that €10 is worth IE£7.88. But the most startling of Checkout’s findings was that only 15% of those questioned knew when the punt stopped being legal tender. 34% said that the punt stops being legal tender at the end of December – a clear indication that the government’s Euro changeover campaign has missed a large segment of the Irish public.
Another noticeable trend in these findings is the amount of concern that the Irish consumer is voicing over the imminent changeover. Not only are people concerned over the threat of hidden price increases, but much worry was expressed over the handling of the dual currency during the weeks between New Year and 9 February.
The survey did find areas where consumers were more informed about the Euro – 53% were aware that 31 December was the cut-off point for people writing cheques in punts.
71% of the consumers questioned said that every store they visited had dual pricing in operation. This adds further to the figure found in Checkout’s Retail Euro Survey (September 2001), which revealed that 77.3% of retailers have someone appointed to dealing with the Euro issue. But considering it is illegal not to have dual display of pricing, 71% is a pretty meagre figure
The government will no doubt be pleased that 70% thought that the current Euro advertising campaign is 'excellent' or 'good'. Only 12% of those approached said that the campaign had thus far been 'ineffective' – the other 18% said it had been 'fair'.
When asked what people remembered of these advertisements, 28% answered that they remembered the various presenters on the television campaign, while 18% said they remembered the slogan, ‘The Change is in Your Pocket’, Alarm bells may ring that 21% said they remembered nothing, while only three per cent remembered the conversion date from the campaign.
The overall feeling that Checkout got from undertaking the survey was one of apprehension and uncertainty among the public. The sample may, in fact, overestimate Euro knowledge, as shoppers were asked to answer questions on the Euro, which might exclude many who felt they knew very little on the subject.
The Checkout survey was conducted in Dublin’s Grafton Street and Henry Street areas on Thursday, 15 November .
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