MINISTER of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD has encouraged retailers to continue to adapt their businesses in order to meet the new challenges presented by Level 5 restrictions.
New Government regulations now allow for retail outlets to operate online or offer other remote systems of ordering goods for the purposes of collection at the outlet.
Minister English said: “I recognise the huge impact Level 5 restrictions have on retail but also recognise that the sector has already shown great determination and adaptability in the face of the incredible challenges that COVID-19 has brought.
“Therefore, I would encourage retailers to adopt remote ordering systems, such as click and deliver, click and collect, or to take phone orders where possible, to ensure that they can keep operating and continue to work safely, while customers can continue to shop locally with them.”
Under Level 5 restrictions, all non-essential retail such as garden centres, furniture, homeware, furnishings and flooring, clothing, footwear and bookshops are closed to customer access.
However, order and collection from these retailers can take place within the 5km limit.
Minister English stressed the importance of businesses working not only to the guidelines and regulations but to the spirit of those guidelines and regulations.
He said: “Under the new rules, retailers with mixed retail offerings which have discrete spaces for essential and non-essential retail should make arrangements for the separation and closure of non-essential retail.
“During this period of restrictions, I would ask all essential retailers who can remain open to be conscious of how your trade impacts on your colleagues who are closed or only operating a click and collect service.”
Minister English and the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD met with a range of representative bodies from the retail sector to discuss and share views on the Level 5 restrictions as part of the Government’s Retail Consultation Forum yesterday evening.
Minister English also urged consumers to Stay Local and Shop Local and for retailers to operate staggered opening times to keep pressure off peak transport.
The minister concluded: “My department has of course a wide range of supports available to help businesses to adapt and to fight the Covid challenge.
“There are specific measures to assist them to continue trading as well as to adapt online and I would encourage businesses to visit the Department’s website to see what help is available.”