Better public transport key in making Limerick City more attractive to shoppers

Duncan Graham, Managing Director of Retail Excellence Ireland (REI).

BETTER public transport could be the key to attracting more shoppers to Limerick City, according to the Managing Director of Retail Excellence Ireland (REI).

Duncan Graham from REI said that making Limerick’s urban areas easier to access for shoppers could stem the tide of businesses leaving the city in favour of out of town outlets.

Following a recent visit to the city, REI found that access is among the main issues with people wishing to come into the city centre.

“When we recently visited Limerick with retail futurist Matthew Brown, we were struck by the number of brilliant retailers currently based in the city. That said, access to the city is an ongoing issue as commuters have to deal with heavy traffic on a daily basis,” Mr Graham said.

This comes as a meeting aimed at coming up with solutions to tackle issues of decreased footfall and dereliction in the city will be held later this month.

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The long-running works on O’Connell Street have also been cited as a deterrent to attracting business to the city and while the works overall are welcome, REI said that “any improvements to the city are welcome and it is important that the works on O’Connell Street are completed soon as they have been going on for some time.”

Making sure that there are enough quality retail units in the city available at a reasonable price is among measures cited by REI to help city centre shopping flourish.

The recent initiative by Champion Green, where five small business owners will compete to get the chance to showcase their wares in a pop-up shop in Roches Street, will go a ways in helping encourage new stores into the city.

“Businesses must also be encouraged to set up online to complement their bricks and mortar operations, as omni-channel retailing is the future for the industry,” according to Mr Graham.

A meeting to discuss the future of retail in the city centre will be held in the Strand Hotel on April 27 at 3pm. It is open to current and future retailers, landlords, and developers of retail units.