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Retail Excellence, the largest representative body for the retail industry in Ireland, has welcomed the decision by the Government to keep non-essential retail outlets open after Christmas but has said it will urgently seek clarification this afternoon on the Government’s plans for the deferral of January sales as announced by Taoiseach Micheal Martin today.

Speaking today, Duncan Graham, Managing Director of Retail Excellence, said: “We welcome the decision that non-essential retail is to stay open and recognise that this is a particularly difficult time for the country. We are particularly mindful of the need to manage crowds in shopping areas but we will be seeking urgent clarification from the Government on its plans for the deferral of the January sales.”

He said this decision reflected the work retailers had put in to safeguard their premises. “Retailers have approached the Covid-19 crisis with the utmost professionalism and have put a number of safety measures in place to ensure the risk of virus transmission is mitigated.”

He said that retailers would continue to exercise caution and urged shoppers to keep following safety guidelines. “Retailers have the necessary safeguards in place to facilitate safe shopping and have been very successful in limiting the spread of the virus up to this point. Shoppers can also do their bit by following social distancing guidelines, washing their hands, and wearing masks.”

He also praised the work of retail staff who have worked incredibly hard over the course of the year. “This has been the worst year on record for the industry, and retail staff in shops around the country deserve huge credit for doing such a fantastic job under the most exceptional circumstances.”

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