A fashion retailer in Galway city is planning to reopen its doors in the coming weeks to protest the “grossly unfair” situation of larger retailers allegedly breaking Covid-19 rules.
The owners of Lanidor - a ladies fashion brand - on Eyre St in Galway say they are sick of seeing larger retailers flouting public health guidelines and continuing to sell items of clothing, while smaller businesses are forced to stay shut.
"The reality is that you have large stores who are opening and have opened their clothing sections and are trading as normal,” said Dave McCarthy, a financial consultant and a director of the firm which owns Lanidor.
“Their clothes sections are flying it, and we’re there with our doors closed and a shop full of stock.”
Mr McCarthy toldthat he had raised the issue with gardaí, but no action has yet been taken.
“Nobody’s doing anything about it."
He said businesses like his have heard nothing but “hot air” from official trade bodies and politicians on the issue.
“It’s as if for some reason they do not want to take on these big retailers, they don’t want the hassle," he said.
Mr McCarthy hopes to raise awareness of the plight of retailers in the same situation across the country.
Now, Lanidor is planning to open its doors, in contravention of public health guidelines, sometime over the next two to three weeks.
“We don’t want to do this. But we will open until such time as the authorities take action.”
Mr McCarthy said that there could be no ambiguity around what items could be deemed “essential” under current guidelines.
He said some larger retailers had been trying to “create an element of ambiguity” by taping off certain sections of their stores. This, he said, was "an insult to Government and people in general."
“Let’s face it, these large entities are not exactly the people who are going to come out suffering from this pandemic.
“It's going to be the smaller retailers like us, and the tens of thousands of others around the country.”