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Tag Archives: retail

Hospitality struggles while tills ring for Clare retailers

PUBS and restaurants around the county remain open, but with Covid-19 again rampant, the sector is feeling the pinch. At the same time there is some evidence that general retail has continued to perform well, with its busiest time of the year approaching. Maurice Walsh of Durty Nelly’s in Bunratty says that expectations of a very strong Christmas party season have evaporated. “Our Christmas party set-up would be based around Limerick, Shannon and Ennis, with corporate business. In the last seven or eight days 80% of them have cancelled,” he said on Tuesday. Durty Nelly’s had been set for a very strong Christmas, comparable to 2017 or 2018, prior to this wave of Covid-19. Currently he says turnover is down by about 70%, and he doesn’t know if there will be State support for businesses which are about to lose a lot of seasonal business. The months that followed the summer reopening were quite positive, but he feels the reserves …

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Landmark site in Clare village set for development

A LANDMARK site in the heart of Crusheen is set to be transformed, now that the council has given conditional permission to plans for a new residential estate as well as retail and office units. Woodhaven Developments submitted plans in February of this year for a total of 29 homes, four offices and four retail units close to the village centre, west of the R458, saying they represented a potential multimillion euro investment in the area. During the public consultation phase, four submissions were received in relation to the plans which make provision for a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes, as well as units suitable for use as restaurant, medical and leisure facilities, as well as specialist retail. One resident pointed out the recent well-documented growth in the population of Crusheen. “While such growth is welcome,” the submission said, “it does place a strain on the village’s existing community and social infrastructure.” The submission noted that the graveyard …

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Clare retailers urged to review security as shopping resumes

WITH non-essential retailers reopening this week gardaí have urged Clare businesses to be security conscious. According to Clare’s Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Triona Brooks investing a little time and finances into security measures can deter criminals from targeting businesses. Measures introduced by businesses to prevent Covid-19 such as screens could obscure CCTV or alarm sensors, she explains, advising businesses to review their security systems. She said, “As retail premises open up again after Covid-19 restrictions it is even more important to ensure that your premises is secure. “Criminals like easy opportunities. If they have to make a lot of noise, spend a lot of time or risk being seen, the chances are they won’t bother. If they are aware staff are security conscious they will be less likely to attempt a criminal act. “A small investment of time and money can make your business premises more secure and less likely to be targeted by criminals.” She advises that businesses look …

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Retail group dismayed over delay with return of Click and Collect

ENNIS-based Retail Excellence has issued an angry response to the time-frame for the return of non-essential retail services. Duncan Graham described his organisations 2,000 members as being “deeply shocked and disappointed” at the government’s decision to defer the return of non-essential retail and Click and Collect services, which enable shoppers to order online and to pick up their goods in-store. Earlier this week, Retail Excellence had launched a campaign advocating strongly for the return of click and collect services from next week. The group argued that, given the change in the seasons and the urgent need for families of small children to be able to buy clothing and shoes, that limited services should be allowed to return immediately. There was huge alarm in the retail sector at Tuesday night’s announcement on the phased easing of lockdown. Taoiseach Micheál Martin, made it clear that that Click and Collect services will not resume until early May, with most ‘non-essential’ in-person retailing likely …

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Ennis native leads research on Clare’s older workers

OLDER workers in Clare are being urged to get in touch with an Ennis-born researcher and his team at University College Dublin (UCD), with a view to sharing their employment experiences. This county has been selected as one of five locations nationwide, where the research team  will explore the opportunities and challenges faced by workers aged 55 and over, who are living or working in the region. The lead researcher is a Clare man, Dr Micheál Collins, who is Assistant Professor of Social Policy at The School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice at UCD. The study is funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Low Pay Commission. The hope is that the study’s results will be used to inform future public policy in the area. “One of the reasons we chose Clare is because of the relatively high numbers of people working in the hospitality and retail sectors,” Dr Collins told The Champion. …

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Local retailers ‘overwhelmed’ by customer support

OVERWHELMING loyalty from Christmas shoppers has given retailers a badly-needed boost, as the sector braces for further restrictions. While non-essential outlets face another period of uncertainty as Covid cases rise, shop owners have thanked people for making a concerted effort to support them in the month of December. Tina Grogan from Bambino in Ennis said it was very apparent that people made a conscious decision to back local retailers. “It has been so touching and the support coming up to Christmas was phenomenal,” she said. “It was really obvious that people were making an effort to shop local and, after the year that’s been in it, it was almost overwhelming to see.” At the County Boutique, Gwen Culligan described the support as “unbelievable”. “We were just blown away by it,” said the former President of Ennis Chamber of Commerce. “We did brilliant business. Our customers came back to us and it was clear they were determined to give their support.” …

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Gardaí confirm complaints over ‘breaches’ of retail rules

RETAILERS around the county are receiving visits from Gardaí to ensure compliance with Level 5 restrictions, amid controversy over which shops and products are deemed to be essential. Clare Gardaí have confirmed receiving a number of complaints about apparent breaches of the rules. Despite the government outlining 16 different categories of retail that can continue under the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions, confusion has arisen. Several members of the public have contacted The Champion to say that certain retail outlets appear to be open when they shouldn’t be. Similarly, many retailers who are deemed to be non-essential, have taken issue with the sale of clothing by supermarkets. Retail representative groups say members are angry and confused. “We’ve been asking the government to make all retail essential at this time of the year,” said CEO of Ennis-based Retail Excellence, Duncan Graham. “There was a palpable sense of shock when we moved to Level 5. People are very anxious, they’re very worried, …

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Ennis Chamber survey reveals business concerns over Covid-19

A NEW survey carried out by Ennis Chamber of Commerce has provided a localised view of how businesses across Clare have been impacted by COVID-19. The COVID-19 Business Survey, conducted in conjunction with Clare FM, also gauges reaction to the suggestion that the town centre be pedestrianised to facilitate social distancing. Ennis Chamber CEO, Margaret O’Brien said the response reveals just how stressed and anxious business owners are. “Although we now have a government roadmap for reopening our economy,” she said, “the level of uncertainty evident from the responses by business owners in County Clare, suggests that those fears, rooted in uncertainty, are set to continue. Shops, cafés, pubs, hotels, hairdressers and beauticians now know when they can open, but that knowledge does little to quell the fear that co-existing with COVID-19 restrictions could mean trading to break even, as opposed to turning a profit.” The strongest sectoral response to the survey, came from retail, representing 42% of all respondents, with hospitality and tourism accounting …

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