'Don't cancel Christmas' - Irish retailers make plea to Government as country prepares for stricter restrictions
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'Don't cancel Christmas' - Irish retailers make plea to Government as country prepares for stricter restrictions

RETAILERS in Ireland are pleading with the Government not to "kill Christmas" as the country edges towards tighter Covid-19 restrictions.

A move to Level Four restrictions is expected to be announced this evening, with parts of the country even moving to Level Five of the 'Living with Covid Plan'.

Business owners around the country are urging the Government to support the survival of retailers, particularly in the run up to Christmas, and many have coalesced by writing a letter to Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, pleading for the coalition government not to "cancel Christmas".

"The impact upon business owners, retail staff and the wider economy will be at a level previously unimaginable," the letter reads.

"Many retailers trade at a loss for 6 months of the year ... a successful Christmas allows retailers to survive and reopen in January."

Under Level Four and Five restrictions, most retailers would be forced to close their doors, and in the run-up to their busiest trading period of the year, this would be a financial disaster - particularly after seven months of slow trade due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Retail Excellence, which represents over 2,000 retailers said a move to Level Four or beyond would close an unprecedented number of retailers who will "never to return to the market" and risk a further 60,000 jobs in addition to the 30,000 that have already been lost in the industry.

They stress that morale among retailers and their staff is at an "all-time-low," and that a large number of businesses won't survive without government support this Christmas.

Duncan Graham, managing director of Retail Excellence called for all retail to be classed as essential at this time of the year and urged the Government not to kill off Christmas. "We can't simply cancel Christmas," he said.