They have become the symbol of consumer concern in Ireland, and now shopping trips north of the border seem to be more than just a fad.
With thousands of people crossing the border to shopping hot spots such as Enniskillen every week, it was only a matter of time before a lack of business here turned into a business opportunity.
The aptly named Borderbus has begun taking customers to the North by coach to facilitate the mass exodus from the Athlone area to Enniskillen.
The opportunistic venture is now planning to expand its service to Belfast/Ikea on May 16 for overnight trips including dinner, three star city centre accommodation, breakfast, and coach travel for €99 per person sharing, demonstrating real value for money.
For a fee of €25, customers signing up for the day trips are taken from Athlone and the surrounds (Ballinasloe, Ballymahon, Granard, etc ) to Enniskillen on what is described as a luxury coach, and: "after you shop till you drop, we take all your bags off your hands in Enniskillen and store them, until your drop-off point that evening’’. Borderbus.net is the opportunistic venture of budding entrepreneur, Sean O’Connor, who says, “The Enniskillen route has created huge momentum over the past few weeks with numbers steadily rising – and why wouldn’t it? During the good times people ignored price variations and believed the differences were minimal- now however this is not the case, and we have seen the increase in bus numbers to prove it. People across all age groups are using the service, which is a hassle free way of saving money on everyday goods. We feel the Belfast trip really shows what great value €99 achieves in the North, providing a getaway to this cultural city, with shopping, theatres, museums and Ikea all on the doorstep. Already there has been huge interest in numbers taking advantage of this great deal.’’
Borderbus Athlone/Enniskillen routes are run on a weekly basis on Saturdays, the next overnight Belfast/Ikea trip is planned for May 16 – Call Sean on (085 ) 8335521 for full details or visit www.borderbus.net