'A light at the end of the tunnel' as shops and salons gear up to reopen

From tomorrow, non-essential retail will begin a phased reopening starting with click-and-collect services or in-store shopping by appointment.
'A light at the end of the tunnel' as shops and salons gear up to reopen

Owner of The Dublin Barber Shop Danny Callaghan and his cross breed dog Susie both get ready for for reopening following an easing of Covid 19 Coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Business owners around the country are preparing to open their doors tomorrow as restrictions are set to be eased further.

From tomorrow, non-essential retail will begin a phased reopening starting with click-and-collect services or in-store shopping by appointment.

Permitting shopping by appointment offers retailers who do not have online stores the opportunity to welcome customers in a way that is safe for both customers and staff.

One of the most highly anticipated stores to reopen is Penneys. There was an online frenzy last Friday as eager shoppers queued online to try to claim a coveted appointment in their local branch some customers waiting over an hour to book a slot.

The chosen few will have an hour to spend in the store - 45 minutes to shop and 15 minutes to pay. Those who missed out will have to wait until non-essential retail opens fully the following Monday, May 17.

Retail Excellence chief executive Duncan Graham said that tomorrow's move towards a full reopening of shops is a light at the end of the tunnel for retailers after four months of lockdown.

Retail Excellence chief executive Duncan Graham said that tomorrow's move towards a full reopening of shops is a light at the end of the tunnel for retailers after four months of lockdown.
Retail Excellence chief executive Duncan Graham said that tomorrow's move towards a full reopening of shops is a light at the end of the tunnel for retailers after four months of lockdown.

He warned that it is "critically important" that once retailers have reopened that they remain open.

"Retailers have lost too much business and many are already on the brink so they cannot afford to shut their doors again under any circumstances."

Mr Graham said the industry will need major financial support in the months ahead but for now businesses are happy to be able to begin trading again.

Ahead of what will be a busy week for retailers, Mr Graham asked for customers to be patient when booking appointments or placing orders for click and collect.

Also reopening tomorrow are hairdressers, barbers and beauticians who will welcome customers back in for the first time this year.

Speaking ahead of Monday's reopening, CEO of the Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation (HABIC), Margaret O'Rourke, said salons are delighted the long wait to get back to work is over.

The Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation are asking clients to support salons by informing them of any cancelled appointments.
The Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation are asking clients to support salons by informing them of any cancelled appointments.

"As the first few weeks will be hectic, we would like to thank customers for their support and patience. We would also strongly encourage customers to support us against the potential of no shows," said Ms O'Rourke.

"If they are unable to attend their appointment for any reason, it is essential that they cancel or reschedule their appointment, as the impact of clients not arriving for appointments is very damaging for businesses."

According to data from Phorest Salon Software, around €519,000 in revenue was lost per day in 2020 by clients not arriving for appointments.

Ms O'Rourke said the massive loss due to no-shows had a hugely negative impact on salons that were already struggling due to the pandemic.

The HABIC are asking clients to support salons by informing them of any cancelled appointments.

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