Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) has suggested a Covid-19 three-pillar response plan for retailer which it said should be implemented 'immediately.'
In the statement the group said that it is being inundated with requests for clarity in relation to future government policy on the ability of retailers to continue trading.
"In the event of a decree as to curtailed retail activity, we require early and full definition as to what will constitute essential retail," REI said.
The group said that retailers 'must consider' the implementation of a three-pillar plan:
Pillar 1: Immediate Common-Sense Measures:
A/ The Government must, with immediate effect, define what retail categories they believe to be essential.
B/ We must with immediate effect launch health & safety protocols for all retail with an emphasis on essential retail such as pharmacy and food.
They are our first responders.
They must be supported and offered guidance to implement measures to function safely and keep Ireland functioning.
They will soon be required to implement guidelines regarding perspex glass installation, distancing protocols, the use of gloves and masks or otherwise, infected site management.
The HSE will inform us as to the required guidelines.
C/ We must assist with the redeployment of people from retailers who have closed to essential retail. Please use the EMAIL
Pillar 2: Suspension of Debt Measures:
A/ Business: All business costs such as commercial rents, rates and all other business costs must be paused with immediate effect.
They must be underwritten by the State for the period of the economic suspension.
When businesses return and recommence commercial activity, they must not be met with any of these expenditures.
B/ People: We must support our people at this time. 200,000 retail colleagues and their families will be financially impacted by this crisis.
All rent and mortgage payments must be paused.
When Ireland returns to normality people must not have to face these costs retrospectively.
Adequate Social Welfare supports must be put in place to see people through the next six to ten weeks.
Many EU countries are launching initiatives to pay 70-80% of people’s salary while they are out of work.
Our colleagues have never faced a crisis of this scale. Their mental health is extremely important.
Pillar 3: Steps to Recovery:
A/ We must divide our resources into two:
B/ We must resource our healthcare system to manage and curtail the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Government must contemplate the establishment of an economic recovery team.
This team must prepare a plan for implementation when Ireland moves towards a point of recovery.
© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.