Irish retailers call for ‘major intervention’ to keep lights on this Christmas

Retail Excellence has warned the government that a major intervention on energy costs is needed in the next budget.

he lobby group says government help is needed to keep business lights on this Christmas.

The industry group’s warning comes as 400 retailers gather at the Retail Excellence Retreat at Carton House today.

Retail Excellence managing director Duncan Graham said Irish retailers will face huge challenges in the months ahead.

“Retailers of all sizes are currently facing unprecedented energy bills that threaten thousands of livelihoods across the country,” he said.

Retail Excellence is calling for a cap on energy costs as a priority ahead of the industry’s busiest season.

“Our members don’t like uncertainty, and a cap on energy costs would ensure that retailers could at least plan for the coming months knowing with certainty that they won’t face further price hikes. price,” Graham said.

He added that retailers would face a poor Christmas trading season for the third Christmas in a row without the introduction of an energy price cap.

“A lot of our members won’t be able to handle this pressure,” he said.

The lobby group is also calling on the government to consider a reduction in the VAT rate, as more support is needed to help retailers switch to online shopping.

Mr Graham also highlighted ongoing personnel issues that remain a concern in the industry.

“We’ve been asking the government to ease visa restrictions for some time now to attract foreign workers to Ireland after losing so many during Covid,” he said. “This would represent a significant boost for the retail sector at a time when we need it most.”

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