Retail: stores are open but there are no buyers

The retail trade opened on April 5, but the industry did not have a “resurrection” as store traffic, even in the middle of the discount period, remains rather low.

Restrictions that are still in place and make the buying process a rather complicated and inconvenient process that consumers, especially those who have not been vaccinated, try to avoid, are the main reasons for the decline in store turnover. To the above, of course, one should add the uncertainty of the financial situation of households in the near future.

The largest decrease in turnover compared to the corresponding period of 2019 (in 2020, retail trade began to open on May 4, first with small outlets, and then with open department stores and shopping centers), according to market participants, in department stores and shopping centers are located in range from 60% to 70%. Traffic in the center of Athens is lower than expected, while, on the contrary, the performance of commercial stores in areas of the capital such as Nea Ionia, Chalandri, Kallithea is better. Also, the picture is better in shopping malls and in discount villages that are located in open spaces.

This differentiation is due to the reluctance of consumers to enter premises with a relatively large number of customers, as well as to use public transport to get to the center of Athens for shopping. For this reason, they prefer more easily accessible destinations – mainly in terms of finding parking – by car or on foot, for example, regional markets, where both small and medium-sized businesses and all well-known popular retail chains are now active.

However, starting today (May 8), large stores can serve more customers at the same time. This is because until yesterday for shops more than 500 sq. M. For every 100 sq. M. more than 500 sq.m. only 1 buyer was allowed (recall that in stores up to 500 sq.m. the maximum permissible occupancy rate is determined by the rule of 1 customer per 25 sq.m.), from today, one buyer will be allowed for every 50 sq.m. if the retail space is larger 500 sq.m. So, for example, while the store has an area of ​​1000 sq.m. up to 25 clients are allowed at the same time, from today up to 30 will be allowed.

Shops, grocery stores and hairdressers will be open tomorrow, Sunday, May 9th.

However, purchases using the “Click Away & Click in Shop” model have continued until May 14, when tourism opens. From 15 May, there will be no such problem, ”Secretary General of Trade Panayiotis Stampoulidis said in a radio interview. However, what remains under consideration is a three-hour purchase and an SMS to 13032.

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