It’s been a year like never before, but if pre-orders of a festive fizzy tipple are anything to go by, Northern Ireland’s shoppers are set to maintain at least one tradition this Christmas.

Henderson Wholesale, the company that supplies to over 460 SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVO branded stores here, are projected to shift around 1,000,000 bottles of Shloer next week (w/c 09 November) as retailers gear up to meet shopper demand. That’s the equivalent of each person in the country consuming about half a bottle.

It means that shoppers in Northern Ireland will pick up around an extra 300,000 bottles of the festive favourite than they did last year, when the price of the drink drops to less than half price from £2.35 to 89p for just one week as part of the 12 Deals of Christmas promotion.

County Antrim deal seekers have held the pole position for clearing the shelves of Shloer for the past five years since the campaign was launched. In total, local shoppers have purchased over 57,000 bottles from EUROSPAR Cullybackey since 2015.

However, all regions across the country will get busy for the fizzy next week. Last year, SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVOXTRA stores here sold almost 700,000 bottles of Shloer during the promo week, up 8.4% on 2018. After Cullybackey, where shoppers scooped up over 13,000 bottles in 2019, Portadown shoppers took home almost 10,000 bottles, and Ballymoney shoppers over 8,600.

Paddy Doody, Sales and Marketing Director at Henderson Group commented; “this is the most anticipated sales week of the year for our 12 Deals campaign, and our retailers really get behind it and have a lot of fun. EUROSPAR Cullybackey has ordered extra crates and is going the extra mile to give their shoppers that special in-store experience.”

Cullybackey Store Manager, Rea Turner said; “we need to get into the spirit of Christmas this year more than ever, and with November here we’re officially allowed to! The Shloer 12 Deals week feels like the start of the festive period for us, so we’re expecting big demand and repeat customers. We’ve gone all out and printed t-shirts, we’ve decorated the store and we’re running a prize draw to give away a delicious hamper, a meat pack from Ferguson’s Butchers in store, and even a cake in the shape of a bottle of Shloer to anyone who purchases a full case!”

However, management is also keen to assure shoppers that the highest measures of safety will be in place and reminded shoppers they must wear face coverings and socially distance in store.

Paddy added; “We want to enjoy this week, but we can’t forget about the very important safety measures we all must respect when shopping in any of our stores. When queueing outside, please remain 2 meters apart from the person in front of you, wear a face covering and use hand sanitiser upon entering our stores. Many of our stores are controlling the number of shoppers who can enter, so this will be managed effectively at each store.”