Phased reopening and shopping centres

 

Sir, – The phase one reopening on May 18th went very well and all retailers reported that consumers were very respectful of the new protocols.

Each store allowed to open did so safely and within the health and safety guidelines.

On June 8th, high streets around the country will open. Large stores and shopping centre tenants will watch, knowing they have millions of euro of unsold stock, massive rents to pay for the period of closure and they will see their competitors in our high streets enjoying what pent-up demand there is.

Shopping centre tenants will have to wait a further two months and a day to reopen. I do not believe the current reopen phasing is practical or feasible.

All our efforts should be focused on bringing all retail back to life with the best customer experience possible for those people who are willing to shop in our towns and cities again. This will only be possible when all the shops are allowed to open, and with more of a focus on ensuring that the correct safety protocols are in place than in trying to make distinctions between the sizes of stores. – Yours, etc,

DAVID FITZSIMONS,

Group Chief Executive,

Retail Excellence

Ireland,

Ennis,

Co Clare.