Q+A: What to expect from Monday as non-essential retail welcomes shoppers again

Q+A: What to expect from Monday as non-essential retail welcomes shoppers again

Shoppers are set to return stores and high streets across the country as non-essential retailers return to trade without appointment.  Picture: Stephen Collins /Collins Photos Dublin

For the first time this year, all non-essential retailers can welcome shoppers tomorrow, without the need for appointments or click-and-collect arrangements.

It is a “landmark day” for the industry, according to Duncan Graham, head of Retail Excellence, after four months of restrictions on the sector.

So what can you expect from tomorrow?

Will there be many queues?

If the Republic’s retail reopening is anything like our friends north of the border, shoppers can expect queues outside popular retailers tomorrow.

Demand for Penney’s and other retailers such as Zara and Stradivarius which opened for shopping by appointment last week would also suggest the high street will be busy tomorrow. So leave the heels at home and pack an umbrella - you could be standing outside for a while.

Must I make an appointment?

You will no longer need to have a pre-booked appointment to shop at your favourite stores. Numbers in shops will be limited, but it is unlikely many retailers will continue shopping by appointment past Monday.

Will opening hours be extended?

Some larger stores like Penney’s have extended their opening hours throughout their stories in anticipation of huge customer demand this week. However, many smaller stores are unlikely to have to take similar measures.

Shoppers are advised though that the queues are likely to continue due to social distancing requirements. Picture: Stephen Collins /Collins Photos Dublin
Shoppers are advised though that the queues are likely to continue due to social distancing requirements. Picture: Stephen Collins /Collins Photos Dublin

Details of opening hours for individual stores in most shopping centres are available on the shopping centre’s website or Facebook pages.

What kind of safety measures are going to be in place?

In line with Government guidelines, you will be expected to wear face coverings in all non-essential retail stores and indoor shopping centres. Some stores may also request you use cashless payment methods where possible.

Many shopping centres will also be operating one-way systems with queuing mechanisms, hand sanitization stations and other Covid control measures in place.

Shoppers should maintain a two-metre distance between themselves and other shoppers and staff at all times.

How many workers have been affected by the lockdown restrictions?

Retail Excellence has said the return of non-essential retail tomorrow will see 280,000 people back to work.

It is the second phase of the government’s gradual reopening of Ireland’s economy and society across May and June.

Since the country entered the third lockdown, retail workers have featured prominently in the figures claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) along with hospitality and construction workers.

A significant fall in PUP claims can be expected in the coming weeks provided employers are able to secure the return of staff laid off as a result of the third lockdown.

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