Monday the 'hardest day in retail history'

March 16th, 2020 4:58 PM

By Jack McCarron

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Monday was the 'hardest day in retail history' according to David Fitzsimons, the Group Chief Executive of Retail Excellence, the largest retail industry body in Ireland.

In a letter sent to its members, Mr Fitzsimons outlined the challenges facing those in the retail sector as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

'There have been lots of store closures. You have had to lay off so many wonderful colleagues. For most of you this is the first time ever that you have had to do anything like this,' the letter reads.

'Be reminded you have done the right thing. You are protecting your company and guaranteeing that when this is over your great people have a job to return to'.

The letter also references changes that will be put in place in the coming days in pharmacies and food stores.

'Over the coming days essential retail will change. There will be significant layout reformatting of pharmacies and food stores. These stores will have very clear guidelines regarding the number of customers in store, where you must stand, how you must pay.

Mr Fitzsimons also eluded to further challenges set to be faced by both retailers and consumers in the coming days.

'The next few days will be even more challenging. We will need to prepare for a new way of shopping for essential items. This new way will keep us all safe and healthy,' he said.

Earlier on Monday German discount retailer Lidl released a notice stating that priority shopping for elderly people will be implemented from Tuesday morning.

Priority shopping will be in place across Lidl’s Irish stores between 9am and 11am every day until further notice.


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