Industry associations Retra and AMDEA, together with the buying groups Euronics and Sirius, have expressed their “grave concerns” relating to the issue of electrical retailers being forced to close under lockdown, in an open letter to Paul Scully, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets.
Earlier this week, Retra announced it was calling on the Government to review the status of electrical retailers as ‘non-essential’, and argued that forcing closures of independent retail businesses at this critical time of year would have potentially devastating consequences for them, as well as for their vulnerable customers in local communities, who are dependent upon their services.
In the open letter jointly signed by Paul Hide (CEO of AMDEA) Stuart Cook (CEO of Euronics) Howard Saycell (CEO of Retra) and Gordon Jones (Chairman of Sirius Buying Group), those concerns are echoed and reinforced.
The letter highlights the industry’s concerns and frustrations that under current ruling, retailers classed as ‘essential’ are allowed to stay open and will be selling products which “are the core of an independent electrical retailer’s business”.
The letter’s authors argue that this “discriminatory approach is completely unacceptable” and, in addition, call upon the Government to explain why retailers who have implemented COVID-19 safe measures to make their shop floors a safe environment, in accordance with the Government’s own guidelines, are being forced to close.