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NI garden centres permitted to operate click and collect services from April

Proposed plan is too little too late, says chairman of the HTA



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25 March 2021

From April 1, click-and-collect purchases will be allowed from garden centres and plant nurseries in Northern Ireland.

This comes from the Northern Ireland Executive, which said all other non-essential retailers will be allowed to resume click-and-collect services from 12 April.

The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) released a statement responding to the news. Chairman James Barnes, said that while the decision will offer some relief to garden centres, it is still not enough.

“This offers some relief for Northern Ireland garden centres, allowing them some ability to trade in time for Easter, but is too little, too late,” said Barnes. “It doesn’t go far enough for many horticultural businesses who still have no clear idea have as to how much more of this key trading season will be curtailed by such severe restrictions.

“Click and collect and home deliveries make up only 15-20% of usual sales due to the limitations of delivering live perishable plants of all shapes and sizes, and the IT and infrastructure needed to operate click and collect.

“Garden centres offer naturally airy and spacious environments which are enhanced by our Safe Trading Protocols and the evidence that plants, gardening and nature offer a wealth of health and wellbeing benefits is well documented. We call on ministers to enable horticulture to play its part in supporting the nation as we approach the anniversary of a year in lockdown, providing a safe and healthy activity that keeps people at home.”

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