Mixed reaction to NI supermarket’s decision to remain open during Queen Elizabeth’s funeral

Flowers left outside the gates of the British Embassy in Dublin, the day after the announcement of Queen Elizabeth's death. In Northern Ireland, Marks & Spencer, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Aldi all confirmed they would shut their supermarket stores for the day of the Queen's funeral

Former DUP MLA Jim Wells said Dungiven store’s decision to stay open on Monday was “highly regrettable.”

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21 September 2022 | 0

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The decision of a supermarket in Northern Ireland to stay open on Monday during Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, attracted some controversy during the past week.

A SuperValu store in Dungiven said it would remain open to “staff who wish to continue to work” on Monday despite the company’s previous announcement that its shops would close for the bank holiday to mark Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

Musgrave Marketplace NI last week issued a statement which read: “Earlier this week, our store colleagues in Dungiven were informed that the store would be closing to customers on Monday, 19th September from 10.30am until 1.30pm.”

“In order to keep the food supply chain moving across our network in Northern Ireland, the store will remain operational and staff who wish to continue to work on Monday can do so.

“All colleagues have been given an additional day’s leave in respect of the bank holiday.”

Last Thursday, staff members in the SuperValu store said they would continue to work despite plans to close the store.

The Irish Independent reports their plans were supported by Sinn Féin councillor Sean McGlinchey, who reportedly met with staff members and encouraged them to meet with Musgrave NI, SuperValu’s owner.

On BBC Radio Ulster’s The Nolan Show on Thursday morning, former DUP MLA Jim Wells said the shop’s plans to remain operational during these times was “highly regrettable.”

“This is not being done to serve the community of Dungiven, this is being done to make a political point,” he said.

Multiple businesses and retailers either closed entirely or for a limited period of time on Monday during the Queen’s funeral is taking place.

Marks & Spencer, Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Aldi all confirmed they would shut their supermarket stores for the day of the funeral.

However, retailers were not required to shut their doors for the day. The government guidance was as follows: “Some businesses may wish to consider closing or postponing events, especially on the day of the state funeral, however, this is at the discretion of individual businesses.”

 

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