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Matthews calls for immediate return of click and collect services for non-essential retail

Date: 20 April 2021

Green Party TD, Steven Matthews has called for the immediate return of click and collect for non-essential retail, particularly for small businesses. Discussing the issue, Deputy Matthews said:

“I’m contacted on a daily basis by small business owners across Wicklow who are really struggling to get by due to the ongoing level 5 restrictions. While we are not yet in a position to fully reopen retail, I believe that there should be some hope given to small businesses across the country in allowing for click and collect services to return, while maintaining all other existing health guidelines including the county/ 20km travel limit.

“In a recent meeting with local business owners from across Wicklow, the continued ban on click and collect services was the number one issue raised. Many business owners cited the reality whereby you can queue and collect a coffee or a takeaway but not order clothes or book online or over the phone and simply collect from the store. I have little doubt that this service could be managed safely and professionally, while offering a small lifeline to local businesses.

“The sad reality is that continued closure of click and collect is disproportionally impacting on small businesses that may not have a significant if any online service. Some larger retailers have the money and the staff to operate entirely online, but this doesn’t necessarily apply to smaller businesses, particularly those who have been forced to lay off staff.

“While shops/ businesses can continue to operate a delivery service, there are serious cost implications in terms of paying for courier services to send their goods to customers. Again, this is disproportionally impacting on smaller retailers as they will not be able to benefit from bulk discounts or long-term contracts with delivery companies to the point where many business owners are hand delivering orders personally which is hugely time consuming.

“In a letter to Minister Donnelly this week I emphasised that I have consistently voted for and supported all the public health guidelines thus far but in this instance, I have asked that serious consideration is given to relaxing the ban on click and collect services. I hope that this small change can be considered by the Minister in the short term, concluded Deputy Matthews.



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