'July stimulus may not  prevent store closures', says retail body

'July stimulus may not  prevent store closures', says retail body

Retail Excellence  MD Duncan Graham: Pleased with Vat cut and continuation of wage scheme, but these may not be enough.Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

While Retail Excellence welcomed the announcement of the July stimulus package, it believes more needs to be done to prevent further store closures and job losses.

Duncan Graham, managing director of the organisation, which has 2,200 retail company members, who have  13,000 stores here, said: “We are pleased to see the reduction in the 23% Vat rate to 21%, a further write-off of commercial rates to the end of September, the extension of the Wage Subsidy Scheme to 2021, and a further €8m being allocated for retailers to develop their online presence.

“Whilst these measures will go some way to help retailers recover, we fear it may not be enough to prevent further store closures and job losses in the sector,” Mr Graham said. 

Meanwhile, IE Domain Registry has welcomed the news that the Government is to expand the Online Trading Voucher Scheme to €20m, expand the funding call of the Online Retail Scheme of €5.5m, and  invest €10m  in the Town and Village Scheme. 

A spokesperson for IE Domain Registry said: “The provision of almost €26m for SMEs and retailers to develop an e-commerce presence will unlock a whole new area of growth and opportunity for these SMEs who may not have previously sold online, and who may have been closed for up to four months due to Covid-19.”

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