The Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, headed by Aodhan Connolly, issued a statement moments ago – before there is official confirmation from the government about the easing of restrictions.
The News Letter has been aware of rumours all day about the possible relaxation of Covid curbs, but at time of writing there had been no news confirmed by the Executive.
The retail consortium statement reads as follows: “The reopening of non-essential retail is very welcome news.
“It won’t make up for the loss of two weeks trading during what is our golden quarter especially when retailers already had been feeling the squeeze of decreased footfall and increased costs but it is still welcome.
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“We have always said it is not about what you sell but how you sell it and by the end of the year the retail industry will have invested over £15 million in Northern Ireland to make stores safe. We will continue to play our part but we will need continued support from the Executive.
“This week has proven that no-one in retail is immune from the economic effects of the pandemic.
“Businesses must adequately supported in the coming months as we not only face the Covid virus but the end of the Brexit transition period.
“We also need customers to play their part to keep everyone safe.
“Please try to shop at less busier times, continue to wash your hands, keep your distance even when queueing and please wear face covering in store.
“And leave extra time for your shopping. Working together we can get through this and make the most of Christmas.”
Click here for exclusive analysis of the damage done to our country, and the possible lives lost due to poverty, by the anti-viral lockdown: Counting cost of Covid curbs: 30,000 NI job losses by end of 2020 predicts top economist– OFFER: We have a 30 per cent off subscription offer for the News Letter website which runs until midnight on Friday; visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up –
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