With the shops full – I don’t think they have thought this through…

With non-essential shops due to close this Friday the obvious is happening, everyone is hitting the high street now. Shopping centres are full and there are queues outside many car parks and shops. Now I imagine retail welcomes the boost in the trade but I don’t think it is the best way to reduce transmission. The behaviour of some people is truly bizarre. I witnessed a huge queue of traffic to get into the ASDA car park, even though supermarkets …

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The Future of Retail – #TheReset…

Aodhán Connolly, Director, Northern Ireland Retail Consortium There was an unsettling sense of déjà vu when the latest restrictions on households meeting were announced. After a summer when it, slowly, felt as if Northern Ireland was reopening it was an unpleasant reminder coronavirus is still present and not yet beaten. The feeling of the world closing down a little bit is something we are all adjusting to again. However, things are not the same as March. We have all learnt …

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Belfast City Council gives the go ahead for the controversial Tribeca development…

tribeca development

Belfast City Council’s planning committee has given the go-ahead for the 500million pound Tribeca development in the Cathedral Quarter. The development is your usual mix of shops, offices, apartments and restaurants. The developer has a fancy website where you can see all the details. I have a lot of sympathy for the Save the Cathedral Quarter Campaign but that area has been very run down for years and something does need to be done. And… those luxury apartments that no …

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Death to charity shops…

Forgive the OTT headline but such are my tabloid depths. I don’t actually want to get rid of charity shops. However. In an article on here by MurdockP it was highlighted how many there are on the Northern Irish high street as was their current rate-free status. From the outset this is no bad thing: empty shops, not being used and someone somewhere is benefiting from their kind deeds. So what’s the downside to this? Well, let us examine the …

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How should we redevelop Belfast City Centre?

This question was the focal point of the evening’s conversations at the Dark Horse. Considering a response begs further questioning. Perhaps most fundamentally, who is the city centre for? Answering from observation and evidence, Belfast, it seems, is for consumers. The city was so starved of investment that any development was considered good development. As such, retail and commerce became the de facto form of city regeneration. The limited housing that exists, is being built or has been approved is aimed at students and …

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How the Northern Ireland Government is destroying its own cities and towns…

House of Fraser, with the announcement last week that it is to close 31 Stores across the UK, is just the latest in a long line of retailers which have either gone to the wall, or are scaling back their high street retail operations through store closures. Business rates are effectively a trading tax which businesses have to pay to have a high street presence, which in the era of online retail, puts bricks and sticks retailers at a tremendous …

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The John Lewis Christmas Ad is cute. Pity NI can’t have the store…

Whilst the rest of the UK is enjoying viewing the latest Christmas advert from the UK up market department store chain, John Lewis we should spare a thought for the Northern Ireland shopper who unless they are ready to travel across the water to England, Scotland or Wales or Visit their concession at Arnott’s in Dublin, will not get to experience what all the fuss is about. A John Lewis department store was first mooted at the Sprucefield site over …

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“Not always possible to align the democratic and the retail calendars…”

First sign of any sort of kick back on the Alliance, the SDLP and Sinn Fein came from President of the Chamber last night, Joe Jordan who criticised the timing of the vote (rather than the vote itself), and the widespread unrest in and now way beyond the city.. It fell to Mairtin O’Muilleoir, a businessman himself and often an overt champion of local business interests on Twitter responded to similar queries on Sunday when he tweeted: @danzer_b agreed but …

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