Retail Excellence, the largest retail body in Ireland, has called on the Government to ensure that those retailers who are permitted to remain open during the current lockdown restrict their sales activities to essential items only.
Retail Excellence members have complained that some large retailers are abusing the current restrictions by selling non-essential items while being allowed to remain open to sell essential items.
Duncan Graham, CEO of Retail Excellence, said that the organisation was inundated with call from smaller retailers about the issue. He said there appeared to be a significant difference between the way large retailers are responding to the current lockdown compared to their response to the original lockdown in March; “our concern is that large retailers are abusing the fact that they are allowed remain open by selling non-essential as well as essential items. This rubs salt into the wounds of smaller retailers who are forced to close but who now see larger competitors take advantage of their closure.”
Mr. Graham called on large retailers to respect the spirt of the lockdown; “we need this lockdown to work so that we can all open for business in December but if large retailers spend the coming weeks seeking ways to work around the regulations, the lockdown won’t work and they and all of us will suffer as a result.”
Mr. Graham said the organisation will be writing to the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Leo Varadkar TD to ask the Government to ensure that the regulations for retail outlets are enforced and to prevent large retailers avoid their responsibilities.
Mr. Graham said that the organisation had sought for all retailers to be allowed remain open during the Level 5 period but that this was not permitted; “The Government said that public health advice required non-essential retailers to close so why are they allowing exceptions to this rule and penalising those of us who are doing what we were asked.”
Duncan & The Retail Excellence Team