Retail NI and Belfast Chamber met with the First and deputy First Ministers last night to discuss Covid-19, high street recovery and the wearing of face coverings.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts and Belfast Chamber Chief Executive Simon Hamilton said:

“This was a positive meeting with the First and deputy First Ministers at which our two organisations outlined a number of ideas on progressing high street renewal, overall economic recovery and the wearing of face coverings”

Commenting on the closure of Eason’s seven stores, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This is incredibly sad news for the 144 Eason’s employees and for our high streets as a whole. Eason & Son was a household name and a hugely respected local business, and its closure is a loss to our retail sector”

“It’s not just the loss of the business - it is the reduced footfall for the surrounding traders located beside its seven stores that we also have to factor in”

-          94 areas are in towns and villages across Northern Ireland including Fintona, Kilrea, Lisbellaw and Warrenpoint

-          Full Fibre broadband build programme to reach these areas over the next two years

-          News follows recent announcement that Openreach is recruiting more than 100 apprentice engineers over the coming  months to support the build

Commenting on today’s statement by the Chancellor, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“There are a number of positive measures in this statement such as the Furlough bonus, increased investment in infrastructure and support for our hospitality sector”

“However, there is little in this economic update to boost consumer confidence and to get people spending again in our retail sector. A temporary reduction in the headline rate of VAT would have been helpful in achieving this”

Minister Diane Dodds MLA, Glyn Roberts, Retail NI CEO and Gareth Burnside from Camelot.

Retail NI has launched its Independents’ Day campaign for 2020 with the Economy Minister Diane Dodds. The campaign will again include an online vote to find the people’s favourite independent retailer, local high street, independent retail employee and to recognise a retailer who has gone the extra mile for their customers during Covid-19. Camelot is the keynote supporter of Independents’ Day.

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has announced the publication of Guidance for Urban Centres and Green Spaces.

The guidance will provide owners and operators of public spaces, including councils and landlords, with information and examples of measures that may be undertaken to adapt and manage public spaces in order to help social distancing.

Commenting on today’s NI Executive decision to relax COVID-19 restrictions, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“These relaxations are a major step forward in reopening our high streets and will enable further economic recovery to take place. Moving to one metre social distancing is good news for shops and shoppers - this will allow a greater volume of customers to be in store and should reduce outdoor queues”

Glyn Roberts 07515710517




Retail NI and the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA) have jointly called for the Executive to establish a High Streets Taskforce to spearhead a combined push for the regeneration of our town and city centres in the aftermath of Covid-19.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Creating 21st century high streets was a challenge before COVID-19; now it is an even bigger one as we chart the long way forward for retail, hospitality and our economy as a whole”

Commenting on today’s NI Executive decision to relax Covid-19 restrictions, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Giving a date for hairdressers and barbers to reopen is more positive news for our local high streets. Hairdressers play an important part in bringing much needed footfall for our high streets and for our members”

“Retail NI also welcome progress on reopening Childcare facilities. As our sector has been reopening, we have consistently been hearing from our members that the lack of childcare provision is a huge issue for their staff”

Commenting on the Infrastructure Minister’s decision to resume parking and bus lane enforcement on 29th June, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“While we accept that parking and enforcement needed to return at some point, what doesn’t need to return is the overzealous approach of the parking enforcement officers in handing out excessive numbers of penalty charge notices”