Retail Excellence, the largest representative body for the retail industry in Ireland, has said that a planned truckers’ and hauliers’ mass protest against rising fuel prices in Dublin today (Monday) would represent a “body-blow” to retailers in Dublin city at a crucial time of the year for sales.According to the representative body for the retail industry in Ireland, the Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices is planning a day-long demonstration in Dublin which is expected to be supported by farmers – potentially making it even bigger than the protest which effectively shut Dublin city down last month, which significant ramifications for retailers. In a statement, Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence, commented, “There is no doubt that every industry is under fire from various quarters at present and we have some sympathy for the plight of the hauliers, but now that sympathy is rapidly running out."
"At this time of the year, retailers take in approximately €200 million every day, and it beggars belief that one group would act in this irresponsible way to restrict access to the capital city and in doing so, imperil livelihoods at a time when every trading day counts," he said.
COVID Restrictionsaffected by COVID restrictions and that this protest comes at the worst possible time.Graham noted that Dublin had been particularly badly
“Footfall in Dublin city centre is down by 30% on 2019 levels, as people continue to steer clear of the capital and instead shop online or in suburban shopping centres," he continued, "This action by truckers and hauliers is a body-blow which will drive another nail into the coffin of many city centre retailers who are in desperation mode now.”He appealed to The Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices to call off its protest at such a critical time.
“In any normal year, the Christmas period is critically important for retailers," Graham said
"This year – after months of enforced closures, decreased footfall, the increased cost of trade, severe weather disruption and having to contend with the same fuel prices that hauliers are protesting against – it will be the difference between survival and closure," he added.