Commenting on the expected date of 30 April for the re-opening of ‘non-essential’ retail, NI Retail Consortium director, Aodhán Connolly, said:

“We have been eagerly awaiting a confirmed date for re-opening of our ‘non-essential’ shops, some 110 days after they were compelled to close, and this announcement finally provides that clarity. It is welcome that government has listened to NIRC representations, and we hope that today’s news will provide a much-needed cashflow and confidence boost for the retailers concerned and their suppliers.

“Retail businesses have spent tens of millions on making their premises Covid-secure in Northern Ireland. Whilst retailers are working hard to maintain a safe shopping experience, shoppers themselves can play their part by adhering to the rules on face-coverings, social distancing, queuing, and hand-sanitising.

“We know that previous re-openings have shown that demand can be slow to return and so the Northern Ireland Executive has a vital role to play in building up consumer confidence across the country to power the spending-led recovery.  But we will also need the support of consumers by supporting our high streets in towns and cities across Northern Ireland. Our retailers are certainly ready to rise to the challenge of being an integral motor in the Northern Ireland economic engine once more”.

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