May 17, 2021
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ROI retail reopens, UK going-out categories could rise on latest lockdown easing

May 17, 2021

Non-essential stores in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) reopened on Monday with expectations of heavy demand after more than four months of being closed. 

Penney's (Primark) is among the Irish retailers opening for the first time in months on Monday

The move follows the recent reopenings in Northern Ireland and the rest of the British Isles.

Most retailers in the ROI have been closed since late December and are consequently likely to see huge demand in the first few weeks. That's particularly the case for a retailer such as Penney’s (the Irish arm of Primark), which hasn’t been available at all during the closure period as it doesn't operate online.

Many retailers partially opened for click & collect and appointment shopping last week. And reports said that Peney's saw huge demand for its appointment shopping with some consumers even selling-on their appointments.

As with the UK, expectations are that overall demand will be heavier for this reopening than it was after the return following Lockdown One in 2020. Many Irish citizens are now vaccinated, which suggests a higher level of confidence in venturing out. That’s despite ongoing restrictions such as social distancing and limits on the number of people in-store.

Some stores and destination are going above and beyond to make people feel confident. For instance, Dundrum Town Centre has an online footfall counter so shoppers can see in advance how many people are there at any one time. Extended opening hours will also be key for many retailers.

Meanwhile, in the UK, the additional lockdown easing on May 17 could boost fashion and beauty sales as social lives return to some semblance of normality.

After more than a month of consumers being forced to eat and drink outdoors in the chilliest spring for several years, they will now be able to dine and drink indoors. That could spur demand for going-out categories and make-up, which have been seeing rising demand already. 

And while the picture around summer holidays is still cloudy, the fact that determined holidaymakers can now travel to a few sunshine destinations could also boost vacation categories.

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