Retail NI Comments After Retail Roundtable with First and deputy First Ministers

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At a roundtable meeting today with the First and deputy First Ministers, Retail NI outlined a five-point plan to support the retail sector and combat the pandemic.

 Retail NI’s 5 Point Plan 

 Speaking after the meeting, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“We are absolutely committed to supporting all efforts by the Executive to combat the pandemic and to ensure that vital food and other products can be safely sold to the community that our members proudly serve”

“Retail NI wants to see a level playing field on the pandemic regulations for all retailers that are currently trading. It is blatantly unfair that local independent retailers who sell books, toys, clothes and homeware are unable to open nor operate a click and collect service while large supermarkets can remain open, sell these products and continue to make substantial profits”

“The Executive needs to give these local independent retailers a lifeline by immediately permitting them to operate a click and collect service on a strict appointment only basis, which would be subject to inspection”

“Retail NI also wants the Executive to include essential independent food retailers, who have lost trade and footfall, in the Financial Support Scheme. Many of these businesses are trying to trade in town and city centres which are virtual ghost towns, with most of their neighbouring businesses closed”

“We absolutely understand there are groups of people, such as the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and emergency services that need to be vaccinated first. But given that retail workers are on the shopfloor, interacting with the public and are vital to ensuring the supply of food, they should be factored into the local vaccination program”

“It is also vital that the Executive immediately convenes the High Streets Taskforce to begin to produce a roadmap for recovery as the vaccination process accelerates and allows the economy to safely reopen”

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