New supports welcome but challenge of reopening retail enormous

May 02, 2020 Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the Irish retail sector, today welcomed the range of significant new measures to address the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on business. The group said the rates relief, grants and liquidity supports represent an important further step in addressing the cashflow crisis affecting so many retailers. However, as we move through this crisis significant additional interventions will be needed to safeguard retail businesses and jobs. This must include measures to address the issue of commercial rent liabilities accrued during the shutdown, which many businesses will simply be unable to pay.

Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon said: “The timetable for the phased reopening of the economy will leave many retailers closed for the foreseeable future. It must be kept under constant review and earlier reopening facilitated if public health objectives are met within in a shorter timeframe. Those business that survive will open up into a dramatically altered economic and public health environment. The focus now must be on protecting viable but vulnerable retailers through this period, followed by major reboot of the economy.”