Irish shopping streets will never be the same again – The Irish Times

The economy’s tectonic plates are shifting beneath the ground occupied by retailers, as the closure last week of the Bewley’s cafe on Grafton Street in Dublin showed. It eventually crumbled under the weight of its annual €1.5 million rent for its prime spot on the middle of the capital’s main retail thoroughfare.

Even before Covid-19, retailers in that area of the city were rebelling over rents and vacancies on our prime shopping strip were becoming commonplace.

When consumers venture back out into the post-lockdown streets in phases over the summer, they will find a landscape that is vastly different from the one that existed there before the crisis. Irish shopping streets are undergoing dramatic change wrought by several separate forces.

These include the straightforward effects on consumer spending from the decline of the economy caused by the virus, as well as capacity reductions due to social distancing measures and a

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