Over 280,000 employees in Ireland’s retail sector returned to work as the government eased COVID-19 restrictions on in-store non-essential retail, including clothing stores. The stores opened after 4 months of lockdown as the vaccination rollout picked up pace in the country. The reopening of retail stores is part of a phased plan that started last week.
Retail Excellence, the organisation that represents over 2,000 retailers in Ireland, described the opening as a landmark day for the industry, according to the Irish media reports.
“Thankfully, our vaccination rollout is picking up pace and we have had strong assurances from the government that we are not going backwards. Finally, this means that retailers can plan for the weeks and months ahead with the sort of confidence that has been missing for over a year,” managing director of Retail Excellence, Duncan Graham, said in a statement.
“As always, shoppers can be confident that retailers are continuing to uphold the highest standards of safety for everyone in their stores, and we would urge shoppers to be patient when visiting shops once again. Retailers are prepared and fully stocked for the full reopening and cannot wait to get trading properly once again,” he added.
Graham also said that the retail industry of the country will need financial support from the government in the coming months.