IRISH retailers could benefit from out of town warehouses and an online shopping levy to increase homegrown online shopping - due to a drop in shoppers on the street.
Richard Guiney, CEO of Dublin Town, a retail group in the city, told Newstalk Breakfast there had been a substantial drop in shoppers in the city and in cities across the country in the wake of Covid-19
Retail sales fell 30pc during lockdown while online shopping grew 200pc - the fastest increase ever recorded.
However Mr Guiney said 70pc of online shopping leaves the country.
“We are looking at this as an international phenomenon, where is this going post-Covid, on trends building up since 2012?” Mr Guiney told Newstalk.
He explained shoppers had been spending less in Irish cities and towns since 2012 and spending more online.
Shoppers had also been putting their hand in their pockets more for so called “experience” consuming - otherwise known as the ‘craic economy.’
Mr Guiney said a levy for online sales, which is an option being explored in the UK, could be something that might benefit Ireland.
“We should look at it,” he said.
“70pc of what people spend goes abroad, there were 200,000 jobs in retail,” he added.
There is, he added, “an advantage of having a big warehouse,” to reduce “costs in the town centre, to level the playing field, to give Irish retailers the opportunity,” he said.
“We do need to look at that as a town centre policy.”
Cities and town centres are much quieter, according to retail experts because there has been a huge increase of people working from home during the pandemic.
And Google has just announced workers will be allowed to stay in their home offices until 2021.
Almost all of the employees and contractors globally will continue to work from home until at least next summer.
The company employs 8000 in Ireland.