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Larger retailers 'abusing' Level 5 by remaining open for non-essential sales, retail group claims

Retail Excellence Ireland has said it is writing to the Tánaiste over its concerns.

Image: Shutterstock/LDprod

THE GOVERNMENT HAS been urged to ensure the retailers that are permitted to remain open during the Level 5 lockdown restrict their sales activities to essential items only. 

In a statement today, Retail Excellence Ireland said that some of its members have made complaints that some large retailers are abusing the current restrictions by selling non-essential items while being allowed to stay open to sell essential items. 

Its CEO Duncan Graham said: “This rubs salt into the wounds of smaller retailers who are forced to close but who now see larger competitors take advantage of their closure.”

Yesterday morning, Level 5 came into effect. It is set to last for six weeks.

As part of this lockdown, as was the case in the first, essential retailers and services will be the only ones permitted to open under Level 5.

The list of essential retail and services is longer than at the peak of the last shutdown, with hardware shops, bicycle repair shops and opticians joining the likes of supermarkets, newsagents and pharmacies this time around.

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Outlets selling essential items for the health and welfare of animals, laundries and dry-cleaners, banks, post offices and credit unions will also be allowed to remain open.

Retail Excellence Ireland will write to Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar to ask the government to ensure the regulations around essential retail are enforced and that larger retailers adhere to their responsibilities.

Graham said: “We need this lockdown to work so that we can all open for business in December but if large retailers spend the coming weeks seeking ways to work around the regulations, the lockdown won’t work and they and all of us will suffer as a result.

The government said that public health advice required non-essential retailers to close so why are they allowing exceptions to this rule and penalising those of us who are doing what we were asked.

About the author:

Sean Murray

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