Tesco in Ireland is to cut the price of up to 5,000 products previously covered by the country&'s groceries order.
The move follows a sustained campaign by Irish consumers&' champion Eddie Hobbs.
TV personality Hobbs - he has his own show called Rip-off Republic - accused the chains of failing to pass on the discounts they received from suppliers, now that they were free to do so following the repeal of the order, which banned below-cost selling.
He published the contact details for senior Tesco and Dunnes executives and called on consumers to call and e-mail them demanding price cuts.
Thousands of consumers are reported to have responded to his call. Tesco told those who complained that it had cut the price of 450 products since the order was abolished in March, but promised further reductions on all products previously controlled by the order over the coming months.
It added: &"These will be long-term price reductions and will complement normal weekly promotions.&"
The company, which said it stocked some 5,000 items previously covered by the order, did not specify the size of the price reductions, but claimed that they would be significant.
Tesco denied the cuts had been prompted by the protest. However, Hobbs hailed the Tesco move as a ­triumph for consumers.
He claimed Dunnes, which did not respond to the campaign, would be forced to match the promised cuts to maintain market share, and that a price war was in prospect.
He predicted consumers could save an average of €1,000 a year if the mul­tiples passed on the discounts they got from suppliers.
Hobbs, a financial consultant, is credited with speeding up the abolition of the groceries order by co-ordinating consumer lobbying of Trade and Enterprise Minister Micheal Martin, who ultimately abolished the order with effect from March 20 this year.
Anthony Garvey