Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, has welcomed reports that Government is set to approve the re-opening of all small and large retailers from Monday, after getting the green light from the National Public Health Emergency Team.
On Monday, small retail outlets with small numbers of staff will be allowed to open on the basis that the retailer can control the number of individuals that both staff and customers interact with at any given time.
“Retailers have clearly demonstrated their commitment to transforming how they operate to protect the health of customers and staff,” said Retail Ireland director Arnold Dillon.
“The reopening of larger retailers earlier than planned is a welcome acknowledgement of this, along with the urgent need to protect the thousands of vulnerable retail businesses and jobs right across the country.”
3rd largest decrease in activity in EU
The move will bring Ireland more into line with the rest of Europe where, in most cases, the retail sector is fully re-opened. Figures released yesterday by the EU's statistical office Eurostat reveal that Ireland saw one of the largest drops in retail activity in Europe in April.
The volume of retail trade in April fell by 11.1% compared to March and by 18% compared to April of last year. However, among member states, the largest decreases in retail were registered in Malta (-25.1%), Romania (-22.3%) and Ireland (-21.9%).
In March, the retail trade volume decreased by 11.1% in the euro area and by 10.1% in the EU.
Mail order and online volumes rise by 11.9%
According to Eurostat, automotive fuels registered the biggest decline in April, with a 27.7% drop, as millions of motorists across Europe were confined to their homes.
The volume of non-food products fell by 17% and by 5.5% for food, drinks, and tobacco.
However, the volume of retail trade by mail order and internet rose by 10.9% in the euro area and by 11.9% in the EU.
Retail Excellence has called on the government to provide rent grants, 0% loans, and waivers for commercial rates to help the retail sector recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
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