Retail Ireland has expressed 'disappointment and frustration' at the failure of the Government to reintroduce click and collect retail services as part of its easing of COVID restrictions.
In a statement, the group said click and collect provides a safe means of providing customers with the products they need.
A ban on click and collect has not been a feature of even the highest levels of Covid restrictions in the majority of European countries.
“Click and collect would provide a crucial additional sales channel for those retailers currently closed. It is particularly important for smaller businesses where delivery costs are prohibitive. These businesses have been the hardest hit by COVID restrictions and are the least equipped to compete with online platforms," said Arnold Dillion, director, Retail Ireland.
The group noted that the delayed reopening of the wider retail sector has compounded the serious difficulties many retailers are facing.
"A significant number will not survive the crisis without enhanced and prolonged Government support," Dillion said.
"Retail restrictions in the Republic are now diverging from those in Northern Ireland, which has the potential to incentivise cross-border shopping. We need to work towards an all-island approach,” he added.
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