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Large retailers selling non-essential items ‘rubbing salt in wounds’ of shops forced to close

Extra.ie logo Extra.ie 23/10/2020 Aoibhin Bryant
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Retail Excellence Ireland has accused large retailers of ‘abusing’ their advantage of remaining open and selling non-essential items.

Large retailers which can remain open due to selling essential items such as food and medicine are ‘rubbing salt into the wounds’ by also selling non-essential items.

Retail Excellence has highlighted the plight of smaller ‘non-essential’ retailers who had been forced to close during Level 5 restrictions.

a woman standing in front of a building: Retail Excellence Ireland has accused large retailers of ‘abusing’ their advantage of remaining open and selling non-essential items. Pic: Getty Images © Provided by Extra.ie Retail Excellence Ireland has accused large retailers of ‘abusing’ their advantage of remaining open and selling non-essential items. Pic: Getty Images

‘Retail Excellence is concerned that large retailers are abusing the fact that they are allowed to remain open by selling non-essential as well as essential items. This rubs salt into the wounds of smaller retailers who are forced to close,’ they said.

‘We call on large retailers to respect the spirit of the lockdown; we need this lockdown to work so that we can all open for business in December.’

a group of people walking down a city street: Large retailers which can remain open due to selling essential items such as food and medicine are ‘rubbing salt into the wounds’ by also selling non-essential items. Pic: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie © Provided by Extra.ie Large retailers which can remain open due to selling essential items such as food and medicine are ‘rubbing salt into the wounds’ by also selling non-essential items. Pic: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence Ireland, told Extra.ie that the public need to ‘shop Irish for the next six weeks’.

a woman standing in front of a window: Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence Ireland, told Extra.ie that the public need to ‘shop Irish for the next six weeks’. Pic: Getty Images © Provided by Extra.ie Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence Ireland, told Extra.ie that the public need to ‘shop Irish for the next six weeks’. Pic: Getty Images

‘Although the stores will be closed, it’s still possible for people to shop Irish over Level 5 lockdown,’ Mr Graham said.

‘Plenty of Irish businesses have e-commerce and online retailing and they’ll need that business over the next six weeks.’

In some heartening news, Google searches for the term ‘shop local Ireland’ increased by 540% in the past week as retailers nationwide have been forced to close their doors due to Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions.

a close up of a toy: Shopping Christmas and New year , christmas tree in the shopping cart. Holiday Concept © Provided by Extra.ie Shopping Christmas and New year , christmas tree in the shopping cart. Holiday Concept

The internet giant revealed that terms such as ‘just buy Irish’ (+3,495%) and ‘buy Irish gifts’ (+200%) have also seen massive spikes following calls for consumers to shop locally online before Christmas.

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