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'Permanent change' in shopping trends from COVID - ISME

Neil McDonnell says the value of the square foot metre in prime retail has taken 'a permanent drop'
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.22 19 Aug 2022


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'Permanent change' in shopping...

'Permanent change' in shopping trends from COVID - ISME

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.22 19 Aug 2022


Share this article


Shoppers are unlikely to ever return to pre-pandemic behaviour when it comes to bricks and mortar retail.

That's according to business group ISME, which says parts of Dublin have vacancy rates of up to 30%.

ISME chief executive Neil McDonnell told Newstalk Breakfast this is obvious to see.

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"You can see it yourself there around the city centre, you can see it in the small malls around there.

"We're looking at some places with up to 30% vacancy - and a lot of those shops are not going to be occupied by similar retailers.

"I think we witnessed a permanent change in shopping patterns over the pandemic.

"I think we probably had online shopping advance a decade in two years.

"It's going to be very hard to retrieve that".

He also says new working patterns have "disrupted bricks and mortar retail as well".

"You talk to any of the caf├ęs or the sandwich shops around the city centres now, and Tuesday to Thursday has almost become a norm.

"That's a very significant drop in footfall for bricks and mortar retailers".

And he believes this is irreversible.

"What we're seeing is a permanent change in trends.

"The value of the square foot or the square metre in prime retail is likely to have taken a permanent drop - people may not want to hear that.

"But if footfall has reduced by 20/30/40% around prime retail, their ability to sell through it is similarly reduced.

"And people are going to have to get their heads around that".

Main image: A man wearing a face mask as he passes a shop with a 'closing down' sign in the window in November 2020. Picture by: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

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Dublin Footfall ISME Neil McDonnell Newstalk Breakfast Online Shopping Pre-pandemic Behavior Shopping Trends Small Businesses Trends Vacancy Rates

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