Ireland’s shops re-open – but why were the multiples allowed to keep selling non-essentials?
As the six-week lockdown in Ireland came to an end, there was a high level of dissatifaction among small independents and their representative organisations such as Retail Excellence as to why – why were independents told to cease trading completely for six weeks while many large stores and multiples were free to continue selling ‘non-essential’ items as normal?
As Covid restrictions eased on Tuesday 1st December, moving from Level 5 to Level 3, many small independent retailers were perplexed and disappointed that they were shutdown completely during ‘the golden quarter’ in the run up to Christmas, while large competitors continued selling non-essential items with no apparent restrictions.
Retail Excellence’s CEO Duncan Graham highlighted the inconsistencies. The organisation had called on the Irish government to ensure that those retailers who were permitted to stay open, should restrict their sales to essential items only – to enable a level, fair playing field for small independent retailers forced to close.
He said that the initial restrictions were unfair – “with large retailers abusing the fact that they are allowed to remain open by selling non-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.”