CORK drink distribution firm Barry & Fitzwilliam is planning an expansion into the North.
The company’s managing director said drinks sales in the Republic have been hit by the exodus of shoppers heading North for cheaper prices.
Michael Barry said the firm, which distributes Corona in Ireland, is making moves towards an expansion in the North.
“It has to be the next logical step for us,” said Mr Barry, adding that there is a possibility that the firm will be operating in the North by the end of next year.
He refused to give any further details on the move.
A move north would be another positive step in the development of the Cork firm, which recently took over the distribution of the portfolio formerly held by Allied Drinks Distributors (ADD) (Dublin).
The new brands include Hardys, Robert Mondavi, Echo Falls, Blackthorn Cider and Tauntons Cider.
Among the brands in the Barry & Fitzwilliam portfolio are Corona, San Miguel, Jagermeister and Boru Vodka. Barry & Fitzwilliam is jointly owned by Mr Barry and Chris Murphy who is chairman of the company.
The firm is battling against falling drink sales in the Republic. Latest figures show packaged beer sales are down 15% in the first six months of the year.