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Retailer's organisation says industry can't afford another lockdown

Retail Excellence says the sector will need major financial support from the government in the months ahead.

Image: Sasko Lazarov

AS BUSINESSES BRACE for the phased reopening of non-essential retail starting tomorrow, a group that represents the industry says that it is “critically important” that another lockdown is avoided.

Click and collect services and appointment-only shopping will resume tomorrow as Ireland’s phased loosening of coronavirus restrictions enters a new stage.

All retail stores, including non-essential shops, will be permitted to reopen from 17 May. 

Retail Excellence welcomed the reopening and noted that shoppers could be confident that retailers were maintaining the strictest Covid-19 guidelines.

“Finally the retail industry has a day it can look forward to. After over four months of a hard lockdown, added to a dismal 2020, retailers deserve a bit of good news and light at the end of the tunnel,” Duncan Graham, Managing Director of Retail Excellence, said today. 

Graham added that retailers could not afford another lockdown after the year they had gone through.

Now, it is critically important that once we reopen, we stay open. Retailers have lost too much business and many are already on the brink so they cannot afford to shut their doors again under any circumstances.

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The industry spokesman added that the sector will need major financial support from the government in the months ahead.

A range of other lockdown measures will also be eased tomorrow including the ban on intercounty travel for non-essential reasons, restrictions on visitors to gardens and personal services – such as hairdressers, barbers and beauticians – can reopen for customers with appointments.

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Céimin Burke

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