Retail Excellence said that it has written to Damien English, the Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail, looking for the government to step in and offer support for retailers who are struggling to pay commercial rents.
In a statement Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence said: "Sales across the retail sector in the first half of this year were down 30% with non-essential retailers closed for three months."
Graham noted that city centres and shopping centres have been particularly badly affected, while we have seen a slight recovery during the summer the outlook for the rest of this year remains bleak.
"We are calling on the government to issue a code of practice and introduce an arbitration service to help with a speedy resolution of disputes between retailers and landlords," he said.
The group said that it is also calling on commercial landlords to engage with retailers and move to a payment model based on paying a percentage of turnover while we remain in these uncertain times.
"Failure to address these points urgently will result in further store closures and job losses in an industry that has already been decimated by COVID 19," he concluded.
© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.