Positive mood as retail reopening begins
Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today said retailers open for ‘click and collect’ and appointment shopping were reporting good trade, with appointment slots in many stores fully booked up.
Director of Retail Ireland Arnold Dillon said: “A buzz is finally returning to high streets and shopping centres after months of restrictions. Those shops that opened for appointments have been busy and shoppers are genuinely thrilled to be back. While there are strict limits on numbers, those making appointments are spending a lot more than normal. There is a lot of pent-up demand which should lead to a strong recovery over the coming months. Appointment shopping will help take some of the pressure off next week’s full reopening. Public health remains the absolute priority and in advance of reopening, retailers have been reviewing and updating their public health protocols to ensure a safe experience for customers and staff.
“The last few months have been incredibly stressful for retail businesses and their staff, but there is a sense of optimism. We don’t expect to have to close again. Government supports have been a lifeline for many businesses, but challenges remain. Debt levels have increased significantly, and many rent disputes remain unresolved. Supporting the experience economy and breathing life back into our towns and cities must be a top priority over the coming weeks and months. It is really important that a plan is put in place for getting offices open again.”