Reacting to the news that Julian Smith has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Trade NI (the alliance of Retail NI, Manufacturing NI and Hospitality Ulster) in a joint statement commented: 

“We welcome the appointment of Julian Smith as the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and expect to meet with him in the coming weeks.”

Commenting on the election of Boris Johnson to Conservative Party Leader, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“Boris Johnson must hit the ground running in securing a Brexit Withdrawal Deal. A No Deal is simply not an option that should even be considered given the economic devastation it would cause Northern Ireland with the loss of 40,000 jobs”

The leaders of Northern Ireland’s two leading retail bodies have come together today to give a stark warning for need for business to be prepared for the reality of a no-deal Brexit.

Aodhán Connolly, Director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium and Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive of Retail NI are issuing the warning following talks with officials following the release of the Department of the Economy report which states that 40,000 jobs in Northern Ireland are at risk in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

As the political talks to restore devolution reach a critical phase and three months since the tragic murder of Lyra McKee, Northern Ireland's largest business coalition, Trade NI has urged the parties to ‘Do the Deal”

Trade NI is the coalition of Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster and Manufacturing NI, representing the majority of private sector employers in Northern Ireland.

The Trade NI CEOs Glyn Roberts, Colin Neill and Stephen Kelly said:

Commenting on the analysis by the Department for the Economy, that 40,000 jobs could be at risk in the event of a No-Deal Brexit, Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“This analysis confirms what the local business community has been saying for some time about the economic disaster of a no deal Brexit on Northern Ireland”

“Losing 40,000 jobs would devastate the local economy and have a huge impact on spending in the retail sector”

“A No Deal Brexit should not even be remotely considered by the UK Government”

Omagh-based SPAR retailer, Peter McBride, has been appointed to the InterSPAR Executive Committee by SPAR International, it has been announced.

Peter, who has over 30 years of retailing experience, runs 12 stores throughout Mid Ulster, is also the President of Retail NI.

As one of Northern Ireland’s most prominent independent retailers, Peter is a SPAR Ulster Guild Board Member and was elected to the National Guild of SPAR as a Board Member in 2009.

At the start of the two-day key Department of Finance Policy Lab at PRONI looking at reform of Business Rates in Northern Ireland, Trade NI has set out its proposals for change.

Trade NI which is the alliance of Retail NI, Manufacturing NI and Hospitality Ulster is taking part in the two-day meeting of business organisations and senior Civil Servants.

In a joint statement the three CEOs of Trade NI, Glyn Roberts, Stephen Kelly and Colin Neill said:

Retail NI has welcomed the decision of Belfast City Councils City Growth Committee to jointly commission a study with the Departments of Infrastructure and Communities on how to make the City Centre more accessible and welcoming.

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

“We welcome this proposal of a joint study on how to make the city centre more inclusive, accessible and become more family-friendly for shoppers and tourists”

The world has moved on since we last had a working government at Stormont. Brexit uncertainty, climate change and trade wars are huge challenges to the UK economy and will impact on Northern Ireland.


That is why a restored Assembly and Executive need to be rebooted and become less about process and more about delivery. It cannot be business as usual with a few tweaks here and there - we must see real change.


With the Tesco store re-opening today and a further reduction in the cordon Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

"We still have a long road ahead and Retail NI will continue to lobby for the establishment of a Rejuvenation Fund for that part of the city centre”

“Retail NI is very ambitious for Belfast and we believe that a 21st Century city centre can be created with a dynamic retail and hospitality offer. There is no reason, with the right investment and partnership that Belfast couldn’t be in the top ten of retail destinations in the UK"