Jack Quann
Jack Quann

07.00 17 May 2021


Share this article


Non-essential retail is welcoming customers back to stores for the first time in 2021.

Last week saw over 12,000 businesses re-open, after nearly five months of level five restrictions.

Hairdressers, click and collect retail services returned, as well as 'shopping by appointment' - which saw 275,000 people make an advance booking with Penneys. 

Advertisement

From today the rest of retail is re-opening its doors.

This includes furniture retailer IKEA - which has a flagship store in north Dublin, as well as a Order & Collection Point south of the city.

Peter Jelkeby is chief executive of IKEA Ireland. He told Breakfast Business they want customers to feel safe.

"I think first of all, our customers should feel safe - we welcome them of course back, we're very happy to have them back.

"We've invested a lot - both in the safety element of queue management, we're going to have capacity control of how many customers can be in the store at one time, we're going to have queue wardens - that's one aspect of it, the safety aspect."

He said he believes demand will be slow to return, but will get there.

"It's early days - I think we've seen in the UK a good rebound since we've been opening - and I expect that we still have a demand out there.

"I think we have seen also, during the pandemic, that the home is more important than ever.

"We've been transforming and selling through different channels, like online and remote selling, and we can see that the demand is there.

"I would say I'm cautious, but I'm very positive actually about the outlook."

He said they have seen a higher demand for home office furniture and storage products.

Asked if they will be opening another store in Ireland, he said: "I can't answer that now - but I'll say like this.

"We are optimistic about Ireland, we have seen growth, we have a strong position, we're going to keep penetrating and become more accessible".

As restrictions ease, people are reminded to continue to practice social distancing, hand hygiene and wear masks.

People must wear a face covering in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and other retail settings - this does not apply to children under the age of 13.

Shops should also offer dedicated hours to people at high risk from COVID-19 who have not been fully vaccinated, including those aged 70 or over and people with certain medical conditions.

There will also be a further easing of restrictions in early June - starting with the re-opening of hotels and B&Bs on June 2nd.

Main image: Dublin's Ikea store in Ballymun is seen in 2009. Picture by: James Horan/RollingNews.ie

Share this article


Read more about

Breakfast Business Businesses Re-open Ikea Non-essential Retail Peter Jelkeby Re-opening Retail Retail

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Best Of Newstalk

Best Of Newstalk

00:00-06:00

Share

Up next

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on