Lockdown heralds end of era for Limerick store

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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nick@limerickleader.ie

Lockdown heralds end of era for Limerick store

The latest lockdown has seen Nevil’s Shoes close for the final time after 34 years operating in Limerick city centre. Proprietor Chris O'Sullivan said the reaction has been 'incredible'

THE latest lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 has brought about the end of an era for one city centre store.

After 34 years of trading, Nevil’s Shoes in O’Connell Street closed for the final time at 5:30pm on New Year’s Eve.​

Just ahead of Christmas proprietor Chris O’Sullivan had flagged that she would be closing the store.

But, sadly, the level 5 restrictions announced by Taoiseach Micheál Martin has hastened the shuttering of the store, due to the ruling that all non-essential retail must close.

"I'd have loved a few more weeks to move stock. But it's incredible. This Covid-19 is so serious and so challenging in every which way, so it's the right decision I think,” said Chris.

Since Chris announced the closure of Nevil’s Shoes, a retirement sale kicked in at her store in O’Connell Street, drawing customers old and new.​

“Our customers have been incredible. The reaction has been gorgeous. They are just so spontaneous and loving us. They really appreciate the work we did, the service we provided and the knowledge the girls have with the shoes. It was incredible - very skilled labour,” she told the Limerick Leader.

The businesswoman is planning to enjoy her retirement.

“I’m going to watch Schitt's Creek and Downton Abbey. All those shows I’ve not seen, which my sisters keep telling me to watch. This shop will take another few weeks to wind down, then I will rest and re-group,” Chris added.

“I’ve three children to feed so I will reinvent myself again! Another challenge ahead of me, I will enjoy it,” she added.

Another clothes retailer who will close – although only for the month of January – is Tony Connolly.

He admits he is disappointed, but can understand why it is needed.

“January is a key trading period, but at the rate the virus is spreading, I have accepted it has to be done.

“I am just hopeful that a month will be enough. The only thing that's difficult for us to understand - and I do accept that supermarkets are necessary as we all have to eat- but any shop like ours would never have anything like the amount of people in them that any of those supermarkets would have,” he said.

He also thanked his customers for being conscious of health and safety measures at his shop.