Digital Business Ireland have called for click and collect services for retail businesses to return.

Allow click and collect for retailers

A digital, ecommerce and online business representative body has this week called on the Government to re-introduce click and collect services for the retail industry.

Digital Business Ireland is behind the push to support the retail industry as we pass 50 days in our third lockdown to boost retailers currently unable to trade.

Parts of the sector have been unable to reopen due to Level 5 restrictions introduced on 31 December. Level 5 restrictions will remain in place until at least midnight on 5 March although the Government will consider an easing of measures prior to that.

Speaking about the need to reintroduce click and collect services, spokesperson for Digital Business Ireland, David Campbell said: “On 31 December Government imposed a ban on click and collect for non-essential retail which was wholly justified in circumstances where there was a need to limit contact to curb the spread of Covid in the New Year.”

“However, with progress being made in daily diagnosis’ now, the Government must start to make plans to restore click and collect in the coming weeks as many non-essential retailers’ are struggling for survival especially as some of them had invested heavily in warehousing and distribution to meet demand.”

He added that before Christmas, many businesses set up systems to ensure people are kept safe while queuing and collecting goods.

“They are already losing out on physical store sales but the continued suspension of having their click-and-collect service banned only exacerbates this. The reality is by preventing people using click-and-collect services this will only harm the viability of many retailers, already suffering under lockdown, as well as severely limiting the choice for some consumers.”

“These restrictions are revenue-crushing for businesses and the lack of a plan is disconcerting for many. Businesses operating click-and-collect have taken every reasonable step to make their operations as safe as possible, complying with every twist and turn to Government guidance and they are ready to continue these high standards,” he added.

While there may be concerns about changes to the restrictions that create more movement of people, Mr Campbell said that introducing even stricter laws around the use of hand sanitiser, face masks, sterilised gloves and more rigorous cleaning of surfaces should mitigate the risks.