The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in significant disruption in many industries, but unquestionably the most negatively impacted are the hospitality and retail sectors, both of which are heavily reliant on people and face to face interaction. There are undoubted challenges for businesses as a whole at the end of all this, and nobody knows with any great certainty how the Irish economy will react once the threat of Covid-19 has passed.
What we don't want to see is employees becoming the collateral damage in this evolving scenario.
For the retail sector, the post-pandemic recovery is very much down to keeping those retailers that have closed shop afloat, so that once things return to normal, they can resume trading both on the high street and online.
First Casualties in Retail
However there have been some notable casualties already Debenhams, Warehouse, Oasis where liquidators have been appointed to all. In terms of job losses Debenhams closure will see up to 1500 people lose their jobs. In relation to Cork city this sees the Closure of Debenhams Mahon Point & Debenhams Patrick Street. Taken into consideration with the loss of Warehouse & Oasis it seriously undermines the retail offer in Cork city. But more importantly it creates a serious number of job losses.
Regarding Debenhams closure which as the Covid-19 crisis continues, could be replicated throughout the retail sector again and again. The basic facts surrounding Debenhams decision to cease operations was arising out of its UK-based parent’s decision to enter administration and seek an application to appoint provisional liquidators. This came after the company was informed by its UK parent that it was no longer in a position to provide it with financial support. However Debenhams plans to reopen most of its UK stores post Covid- 19 restrictions.
Regretfully I fear we are likely to see more of these type of closures in the coming weeks and months as a direct impact of the Covid-19 crisis. What we don't want to see is employees becoming the collateral damage in this evolving scenario.