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Ikea stays shut as smaller retailers voice anger at big stores

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Ikea was planning to open on Monday but will have to wait

Ikea was planning to open on Monday but will have to wait

Ikea was planning to open on Monday but will have to wait

IKEA fans may have to wait until June 29 to shop at the Swedish homeware store after the Government moved to block any early opening.

The store had announced in recent days that it was preparing to open on Monday due to the original Government roadmap stating homeware stores would be opened.

As it now stands, Ikea may not be able to reopen until next month, under the return of non-essential retail outlets with street-level entrances and exits.

"Following the Government's announcement, our store and order-and-collection point remain closed for the time being," a spokesman said.

"Customers can still purchase our products online. We will continue to plan for the safe reopening of our stores once we get the go-ahead from the authorities."

David Fitzsimons, from Retail Excellence, said: "Homeware was listed as being opened and now it's decided they're not.

"All furniture stores thought they'd be opening and now they're not.

"We're told in phase two, on June 8, small stores will be allowed to open - but what qualifies as a small store? The advice isn't great."

Meanwhile, supermarket giants have been criticised for selling clothing, while stores specialising in fashion are not permitted to open their doors under the Government roadmap.

Rioting

Business owners and members of the public have been critical of larger grocery stores, such as Tesco Ireland and Dunnes, opening clothing sections while fashion shops have been restricted.

The roadmap for reopening the economy states clothes stores cannot open until June 29.

"It's not fair that larger supermarkets are able to open clothing sections while fashion stores cannot," Mr Fitzsimons said.

"However, I do understand there was rioting [at a large supermarket] in Dublin and Clare, where customers got over the barrier and started pulling clothing items down.

"They were asked not to do it.

"The stores had to close that section.

"However, aside from that, this is not fair and the level of clarity we're getting from the Government is not ideal."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced yesterday he hoped to announce a further easing of restrictions on June 5.

Mr Fitzsimons said: "From the very outset we said to [Business] Minister Heather Humphreys that it would be best to advise the larger grocery stores, who sell food but not homeware and clothing.

"The fall-out from this is going to be monumental.

"There are stores where the owners have suffered so much and will only be able to bring 70pc of colleagues back."