Yesterday, Monday 16 March, 2020 was the hardest and most challenging day in our industry’s history, Retail Excellence has said.
In a message sent to its 2,000 members and seen by Checkout the group that represents the Irish retail industry noted that there have been lots of store closures.
The group highlighted that a a lot of companies within in the industry had to lay off 'so many wonderful colleagues'.
"For most of you this is the first time ever that you have had to do anything like this," the group said.
"Be reminded you have done the right thing. You are protecting your company and guaranteeing that when this is over your great people have a job to return to."
Pharmacy and Food
Retail Excellence said that it has been an even more challenging day for all of our essential workers in pharmacy and food.
"When this is all over we need to celebrate their work and assistance. They are our first responders and we greatly appreciate all that they are doing for us today and over the coming days," it said.
The group said that it has being collating European retailer COVID-19 health and safety protocols and have shared these with our Government.
"Unfortunately we cannot share these with you as we are not medically qualified and we must await guidance that is appropriate for Ireland from the HSE and the Department of Health,” it added.
‘Retail Will Change’
Retail Excellence said that over the coming days essential retail will change and that there will be significant layout reformatting of pharmacies and food stores.
These stores will have very clear guidelines regarding the number of customers in store, where you must stand, how you must pay. Please respect this guidance.
"Please remember employers have an obligation to respect the confidentiality of their employees and therefore should not disclose the nature of any illness disclosed to them by such employees from a fundamental confidentiality perspective as well as from a GDPR perspective," the group said.
In the message Retail Excellence outlined that it was incredibly busy dealing with hundreds of distressing phone calls and emails and that it was upsetting for everyone in its team to see what is happening.
Looking ahead, the group said that the next few days will be even more challenging.
"We will need to prepare for a new way of shopping for essential items," it added.
"This new way will keep us all safe and healthy."
© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.