Early May reopening of retail vital
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today called for the reopening of the entire retail sector in early May, following news that shops in Northern Ireland will reopen on Friday 30 April. The group warned that a divergence of approaches North and South would incentivise cross-border shopping, further depriving hard-pressed businesses in the Republic of trade and customers.
Retail Ireland Director Arnold Dillon said: “We need to align Covid retail restrictions with Northern Ireland where possible to avoid significant numbers travelling North to shop. An early indication of reopening dates is now needed so businesses can prepare. Managing people, cash flow, stock and supply chains at this time requires careful planning and good organisation.
“The protracted closure of much of retail has compounded the serious difficulties many businesses are facing. A significant number will not survive the crisis without enhanced and prolonged Government support. It is vital that the full range of business supports are kept in place for as long as needed. Many retailers continue to face unreasonable demands from landlords for rent accrued during periods when they were closed. These issues need to be resolved through arbitration, not in the courts.”